The media real estate rule: location, location, location
Liberal Scandals Strategically Located The Washington Post had two awful statements from Presidential campaign surrogates to work with last week. How it dealt with each of them is highly illustrative of how the media does its business.
Last Sunday evening the world was again made privy to the inner workings of the Reverend Jesse Jackson's mind, thanks to a moment of hot microphone pre-interview candor. Apparently, the Reverend Jackson is very, very angry with how Illinois Senator Barack Obama talks to black people, and with his pledge to up the ante on President George W. Bush's faith-based initiative. So perturbed is Jackson that he wishes to perform a certain ghastly procedure on the Senator, one that if executed on a sheep would be what a cowboy chef would say is the first step in the preparation of Rocky Mountain Oysters.
This is either a huge problem or a huge gift for the Illinois Senator. It is hardly good for a prominent Obama proxy to wish him castrated, worse still if he is so passionate about seeing it done that he is willing if not eager to do the job himself. On the other hand, it's a great opportunity for Obama to distance himself from the grievance-mongering Jackson and his ilk.
On Wednesday, Jackson officially retracted his desires to enter the eunuch-ing business, and on Thursday the Post delivered us the politically volatile goods like this (below the fold):
Specifically, Cheney's 2000 statement was that "we may well be on the front edge of a recession here," while Bush's 2001 claim was a milder "You know better than me that our economy is slowing down."
So what will be the reaction be to the Sunday assertion by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama that there's "little doubt" the country is in a recession, when no negative growth has occurred?
Look for Mika Brzezinski outside the Danish embassy. True, the Danes had nothing to do with the New Yorker's publication of the Obama cover. But what more time-honored locale to protest an irreverent cartoon of a figure adulated with religious fervor?
Mika has condemned the New Yorker cover as "dangerous." Why dangerous? Mika doesn't quite say. But by darkly musing about unspoken perils that derive from the mocking of Obama, she would apparently place irony about her candidate off limits. Mika sounded the alarm on today's Morning Joe.
Here they go again: Today the New York Times ran yet another flaky story questioning the presidential eligibility of John McCain, born in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone, where his Navy father was stationed.
Back on February 28, Congressional reporter Carl Hulse wrote a big story on the "controversy," even though Hulse himself admitted little was likely to come of it. The Senate later approved a resolution declaring McCain eligible for the presidency.
Law reporter Adam Liptak's story today, which led the paper's National Section, ran under the hopeful headline, "A Hint of New Life to a McCain Birth Issue," and detailed findings from a Democratic college professor allegedly showing McCain unable to satisfty the constitutional requirement of being a "natural-born citizen."
You would be hard-pressed to find a "better" example of a walking, talking, typing Old Media double standard-bearer than New York Times columnist and International Herald Tribune (IHT) contributor Nicholas Kristof.
..... his legacy is not all bad ..... The emancipation of women and end of child marriages moved China from one of the worst places in the world to be a girl to one where women have more equality than in, say, Japan or Korea. ..... Mao’s ruthlessness was a catastrophe at the time ..... yet there’s more to the story: Mao also helped lay the groundwork for the rebirth and rise of China after five centuries of slumber.
Here is Kristof describing an example of what is currently happening in Zimbabwe in the June 29 IHT (bold after headline is mine):
Rounding another turn in the race to November 4, The New York Times's "Election Guide -- Potential Running Mates," compiled by Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny and posted to nytimes.com Monday, handicapped various potential vice presidents for Barack Obama and John McCain.
The Times first counted up twenty-one potential nominees, 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans (Democratic Sen. Jim Webb was removed after he took himself out of consideration).
From the Times, we learned South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham "has occasionally rankled some conservatives by not being conservative enough," that former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge might not help with "McCain's already uneasy relations with conservatives," and that South Dakota Sen. John Thune "has strong credentials with social conservatives." In all, there were seven "conservative" labels applied to either politicians or their supporters.
DOBBS: Well, I'm very sorry that Julie Gerberding and the CDC is frustrated. But I'm a little more concerned about the fact that the American consumer right now is absolutely vulnerable. When the two agencies, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration still, after more than two months, don't have a clue as to what is going on here.
SCHIAVONE: It's just an astonishing turn of events. We know that the first case was recorded in early April. This thing is not only going on, but it shows no signs of pulling back. And as you say, they just don't have any idea what the cause is.
The general election campaign began in earnest when Barack Obama wrapped up the Democratic nomination the night of June 3. Since then, the New York Times has continued to flatter the Obama campaign with superior coverage, as shown in a story count conducted by Times Watch.
Consistently, Barack Obama and his wife Michelle were portrayed as racial trailblazers whose religious beliefs and patriotism (and his lack of a flag pin) came under vicious and unfair attacks by conservatives. Meanwhile, John McCain was portrayed as a stiff, out-of-touch, gaffe-prone speaker struggling to appease the right wing of his party.
Between June 5 and July 5 (skipping June 4 to eliminate the pro-Obama skew from news reports of him clinching the Democratic nomination), the Times ran 90 stories on Barack Obama, compared to 57 on McCain (there was some overlap, as several stories devoted significant space to both candidates). Times Watch logged those stories one of three ways, as either positive, negative or neutral toward the respective candidate. The findings were striking: If Hillary Clinton thought she got an unfair shake from the press against Barack Obama (she did), then John McCain certainly has a legitimate bias beef against the Times.
Federal investigators have electronic surveillance evidence that allegedly links Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers with receiving a payment or payments in connection with a city-approved sludge contract.
Ruh-roh. Conyers is the wife of John Conyers, the Dem Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who continues to toy with the notion of seeking to impeach President Bush. So how did this morning's Today show report the story?
Today's Chicago Tribune carries a front page story on the late Jesse Helms, "5-time senator 'great patriot' who held fast to his beliefs."
The piece's author, Los Angeles Times staff writer Johanna Neuman, states:
Often he was the lone voice of dissent in the Senate. He was the only senator to vote against confirming Henry Kissinger as secretary of state during the Nixon administration. And he was the only senator to vote against making Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a holiday.
Both assertions are wrong. MSNBC reported in a 2005 article on secretary of state Condoleezza Rice that Henry Kissinger was approved by the Senate in a 78-7 vote. And the King Center notes on its Web site that the King holiday bill, sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy, passed in the Senate by a vote of 78-22.
In its eagerness to portray the late Senator as an isolated, extreme extremist, the mainstream media are making up their own "facts."
He may be dead, but Jesse Helms is still driving liberals to distraction. May he rest in peace.
On Independence Day, CNN anchor Don Lemon reported the death of former Senator Jesse Helms.
LEMON: Conservatives are mourning the death of an icon. Former Senator Jesse Helms has died at the age of 86. The North Carolina Republican was known for his unyielding stands on some controversial issues.
LEMON (voice-over): Ever since he came to the Senate in 1972, Jesse Helms had been the champion of the extreme right. His positions frequently infuriated virtually everyone else.
At about 8:05am ET this morning, MRC President Brent Bozell, publisher of NewsBusters, appeared on Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" to discuss the networks' slavish coverage of Barack Obama and his campaign for President.
As Mr. Bozell says himself in the video (Windows Media), the Big Three (NBC, ABC and CBS) aren't delivering news stories so much as they are issuing Obama campaign press releases, save for the fact that the campaign itself would be too embarrassed to engage in this kind of overwrought hyperbole.
Mr. Bozell expounds on the glowing coverage of Barack Obama, and juxtaposes it with the now vicious reporting on his opponent John McCain, and goes on to predict how the two Party conventions will be covered.
Rutenberg went to Culver City, Calif. to profile leftist filmmaker Robert Greenwald and his cottage industry of anti-McCain films. While Rutenberg chided two conservative filmmakers for making dubious claims in their anti-Obama videos, Rutenberg found nothing misleading or objectionable in Greenwald's films, or anywhere else on the left end of the Internet.
Check this contrast:
The change has added to the frenetic pace of the campaign this year. "It's politics at the speed of Internet," said Dan Carol, a strategist for Mr. Obama who was one of the young bulls on Bill Clinton's vaunted rapid response team in 1992. "There's just a lot of people who at a very low cost can do this stuff and don't need a memo from HQ."
That would seem to apply to people like Robert Anderson, a professor at Elon University in North Carolina whose modest YouTube site that features videos flattering to Mr. Obama and unflattering to Mr. McCain, or Paul Villarreal, who from his apartment in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, has produced a harsh series of spots that attack Mr. Obama and make some claims that have been widely debunked.
For months, the mainstream media has obsessed with the evils of the "right wing attack machine." Recently, CBS bizarrely labeled attacks on Obama’s campaign financing flip flop "swift boating." ABC’s George Stephanopoulos even defended the Obama campaign’s discrimination against Muslims to "combat the issue" of false rumors that Obama is a Muslim.
While much of the mainstream media frets about the alleged GOP slime machine, they ignore the much larger, more heavily financed true smear machine from the left. The Politico reports that far left blogger John Aravosis, who also humiliates those who do not fit his brand of liberalism, is now attacking McCain’s Vietnam War record (ironically is exactly the outrage directed at the "swift boat" veterans)
Robert Mugabe continues to take Zimbabwe into utter ruin. A former breadbasket when it was colonial Rhodesia, it is now a starving, rotting basket case.
The latest development in the ongoing nightmare: A sham "runoff" election where Mugabe is the only candidate, thanks to "violence against .... opposition members," whose candidate dropped out of the race less than a week ago.
For nearly a decade, we've been told, "Don't worry, (South African President Thabo) Mbeki will handle him."
The NewsBusters staff noted yesterday that the increasingly good news in Iraq was not being covered by the US media. And it is good news. Contrary to the wishes of much, if not most, of the American media and their fellow believers in the Democratic Party, the United States and its allies are winning the war against Islamic aggression on the battlefields, although our courts and our media seem determined to do their utmost to turn this victory into defeat (see the New York Times coverage and the Supreme Court's decision in Boumediene). Most of the US media has placed its eggs into the basket of American defeat and support for the Islamic barbarians we are facing. So it is as welcome as it is rare to see that The Times of London today has a column that points our the indisputable fact that the West is winning.
As The Times reports on the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, reporter Gerard Baker begins his story by quoting the famous statement by World War I Allied commander Marshal Foch,
If an elected official in the United States, at any level, promises to "rip apart" six year old rape victims, then describe in vivid detail how their lives would be ruined, one would assume such a statement would lead the news. But it did not.
Following up on D.S. Hubes post on the local media coverage, Massachusetts State Representative James Fagan (D) voiced his opposition to Jessica’s law requiring stiff mandatory sentences to child rapists. As a defense attorney, Fagan promised if such a law were in place and victims assume the stand "I’m gonna rip them apart." Fagan continued "I’m going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they’re 8 years old, they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody."
At right you can see a screen capture of the up arrow. The caption reads, "North Korea: U.S. to take it off the terror list after nuclear declaration. More cognac for the Dear Leader!"
Putting aside for a moment the matter of the wisdom or folly of the deal, since Newsweek CW clearly judges it wise, it's telling that the Bush foreign policy team is not given the thumbs up here instead of Kim Jong-Il.
MRC President Brent Bozell appeared on the June 24 "Hannity & Colmes" to comment on a trend in Iraq reporting that conservatives have known for a while and the New York Times is only now catching on to: the media love to report negative developments from Iraq, while downplaying or ignoring positive developments such as the succeess of the surge or the exonerations of the Haditha "massacre" Marines.
Here's an excerpt of Bozell from the segment:
BRENT BOZELL, MRC President: There's a terrible adage in journalism: good news is no news, bad news is great news. And that's the coverage that we've seen in Iraq. Countless studies have been done, we've done studies on this, showing that as things got worse and worse, you had more and more coverage. But suddenly the surge came around and as the surge took off and was successful, the coverage went down. You see just the other day where the military announced that violence is down 89 percent, and yet NBC and CBS didn't think that was news. Now, they didn't need to send a reporter to Iraq to report that one, they could have done that from their bureaus.
Well today the reliably liberal Democrat-boosting Baltimore Sun also provided a measure of cover for Dixon by leaving out her party label in John Fritze and Doug Donovan's article, "Dixon gifts probed."
Two reporters writing 34 paragraphs found zero occasions to mention Dixon's party affiliation. In Baltimore, the mayoral office is decided in a partisan contest, complete with a separate party primary, so the party affiliation is hardly a state secret.
The word "Democrat" did crop up once in Fritze and Donovan's article, but that was to label another Maryland politician -- not from Baltimore -- also under investigation for corruption:
Remember the Boumediene decisions? The one where the Supreme Court ignored Congress' orders to strip them of jurisdiction? One of the major issues in this case was the fact that the Court trampled all over Congress' ability to determine the limits of judicial oversight. And virtually no mainstream 'news' organ picked up on that fact- nstead they universally trumpeted how the eeevil Bush Adminstraion had been forced to observe the law'. The LA Times, for example, wrote on their front page,
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected for the third time President Bush's policy of holding foreign prisoners under exclusive control of the military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ruling that the men have a right to seek their freedom before a federal judge. The justices said the Constitution from the beginning enshrined the "privilege of habeas corpus" -- or the right to go before a judge -- as one of the safeguards of liberty. And that right extends even to foreigners captured in the war on terrorism, the high court said, particularly when they have been held for as long as six years without charges.
. The article admits that Congress stripped jurisdiction from the judiciary in 2006, writing,
After that setback, the administration went to Congress, still under GOP control, and won a law authorizing trials through military commissions. The law also stripped all the foreign "enemy combatants" of their right to go to court via a writ of habeas corpus.
but clearly agreeing with the idea that foreign, unlawful combatants have more rights than lawful prisoners-of-war.
The network news outlets - ABC, CBS and NBC - have missed a great opportunity to cover actual political news in the last week by failing to report on the loan scandal surrounding two Democratic senators, Business & Media Institute Managing Editor Amy Menefee told "Fox & Friends Weekend" June 21.
"This story has everything," Menefee said. "It has a former presidential candidate, Chris Dodd. It has two senators who are getting, like you said, sweetheart loans. It has Kent Conrad, another senator, who called the CEO of the lender to get his loan, which is not what we normally do, and then said, ‘Oh, I didn't get any preferential treatment and I didn't do anything wrong, but I'm going to give a charitable donation to remedy the fact that I didn't do anything wrong.'"
Menefee said it was "very sad" that the networks failed to report the scandal - not just because they refused to go after two Democrats, but because they missed an opportunity to expose the bailout plan Dodd has been defending.
On Sunday evening, ABC and CBS presented opposite views on whether racism by white voters will hurt Barack Obama on election day, as each network cited its own polling data. On ABC's World News Sunday, referring to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, anchor Dan Harris reported that "race does not appear to be a major factor," although he qualified that contention by pausing and adding, "right now." But on the CBS Evening News, correspondent Randall Pinkston more pessimistically referred to the "Bradley Effect," the theory that white voters sometimes lie to pollsters about their willingness to vote for a black candidate. Pinkston also found: "In a recent CBS News poll, for white voters who say race is a factor in their presidential choice, McCain leads Obama by nearly 20 points. It's a major problem for Obama with no easy solution." But it is also notable that while both reports focused on the possibility that racism by some white voters might hurt Obama, neither report examined black voters who might choose not to vote for a white candidate out of racism toward whites. (Transcripts follow)
The AP's disharmony with bloggers may have only just begun, as the alternative it's now offering to being served with takedown notices involves paying an up-front sum for excerpting online articles -- as few as five words.
The pricing scale for excerpting AP content begins at $12.50 for 5-25 words and goes as high as $100 for 251 words and up. Nonprofit organizations and educational institutions enjoy a discounted rate.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani is the latest Marine to turn out not to be a "cold-blooded killer" that the media and Democratic politicians painted Marines charged with the Haditha "massacre" to be. This two weeks after another Marine was acquitted in a Haditha court martial.
FoxNews.com has the AP story about the dismissal of charges against him here.:
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A military judge dismissed charges Tuesday against a Marine officer accused of failing to investigate the killings of 24 Iraqis.
Col. Steven Folsom dismissed charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani after finding that a four-star general overseeing the case was improperly influenced by an investigator probing the November 2005 shootings by a Marine squad in Haditha.
As you might have guessed, this story is not exactly commanding the airwaves of the cable news networks this afternoon, although the media obsessed about the "massacre" in 2005.
Townhall.com's Amanda Carpenter rips into the Washington Post today over its editorial about Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.) and their cozy arrangement for mortgage refinances with Countrywide.
Hillary Clinton's mention of RFK's assassination was the final nail in the coffin of her candidacy. Along similar lines, can you imagine the howls of MSM outrage if John McCain were to suggest that he might "bring a gun" to his campaign against Barack Obama? Yet Obama has made just such a statement. Expect the liberal media to . . . yawn.
Said the Dem candidate at a Philly fundraiser on Friday night, anticipating Republican attacks:
If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.
The New York Times is in the midst of publishing a series of articles called "American Exception." Its purpose is to "examine commonplace aspects of the American justice system that are virtually unique in the world."
The latest in the series is by Adam Liptak. It carries a June 12 date, and is called "Out of Step With Allies, U.S. Defends Freedom to Offend."
If you think this is yet another "we should be like 'the rest of the world'" piece (in reality, referring to countries overrun by political correctness that have lost their way), you've about got it right.
Here is how Liptak opens (bold is mine):
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — A couple of years ago, a Canadian magazine published an article arguing that the rise of Islam threatens Western values. The article’s tone was mocking and biting, but it said nothing that conservative magazines and blogs in the United States do not say every day without fear of legal reprisal.
Things are different here. The magazine is on trial.