With President Obama and congressional liberals facing loud protests over their big government health care plan, journalists are casting the anti-ObamaCare forces as “ugly,” “unruly,” “nasty” mobs, with reporters presenting the most odious images (like pictures of Obama drawn as Hitler) as somehow representative. But when President George W. Bush faced left-wing protests, the media scrubbed their stories of radical voices and depicted demonstrators as mainstream, and even “prescient.”
In January 2003, all of the broadcast networks touted an anti-war march organized by the radical International ANSWER, an outgrowth of the communist Workers World Party. Signs at the rally read: “USA Is #1 Terrorist,” “Bush Is a Terrorist,” and “The NYPD Are Terrorists Too.” National Review Online quoted several protesters who claimed 9/11 was a Bush plot, “like when Hitler burned down the Reichstag,” and argued Bush would “build a worldwide planetary death machine.”
Reporters bypassed all that hate and showcased the protesters as everyday Americans. On ABC, Bill Blakemore stressed how the protest attracted “Democrats and Republicans, many middle-aged, from all walks of life,” while CBS’s Joie Chen saw “young, old, veterans and veteran activists — all united in the effort to stop the war before it starts.”
The Washington Post editorial page threw itself today into quite an odd political position.
The Post seems to think that Bob McDonnell, the GOP candidate for Virginia governor, should be more vocal about his opposition to abortion. His opponent, Creigh Deeds, recently attempted to make a campaign issue out of his (somewhat newfound) support for abortion rights – a strategy that the Post called “risky.” Today’s editorial, however, backed Deeds’ strategy:
Mr. Deeds's strategy of stressing abortion may work or backfire; time will tell. But to suggest, as the McDonnell campaign has, that a campaign discussion about abortion "is engaging in the politics of division" is disingenuous and wrong. Thousands of Virginians have abortions every year, a decision that touches on families and futures. It's a fair and pressing topic of debate.
That is a somewhat perplexing position. On its face, that appears to be gently pushing McDonnell to engage on an issue critical to winning over Virginia voters. The problem is, the Post’s position would throw the current debate among Virginia voters wildly off-topic, according to no less a source than a recent Washington Post poll.
Remember the outrage earlier this year for some of the bonuses paid out to executives of financial institutions that were TARP recipient? Or how about the press coverage that spurred on populist outrage when it was reported former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain spent $35,000 on a commode to redecorate his office?
The White House's perpetual campaign site, er, home page, currently has rotating messages at the top left. Two of them relate to health care (yellow underlines are mine):
The administration would be well-advised to hold back on the blather about "blatant falsehoods" and "misinformation" until their guy in charge stops disseminating them himself.
Take Obama's claim that the surgeon's fee for a single foot/leg amputation is $30,000 - $50,000 (please).
Here, from the White House's transcript of the President's Tuesday appearance in Portsmouth, NH, is the beginning of what Obama had to say in comparing the costs involved in preventive care against diabetes to the cost of one of its potential consequences:
Citizens opposed to Obama's health-care overhaul are not only white, irritable, and angry, as the New York Times has confirmed in two front-page stories -- they're ignorant as well.
That's the new wrinkle reporter David Stout brings to the debate, in his web-only report Wednesday afternoon on congressional town hall meetings across the country dominated by health-care concerns, "For Lawmakers, Health-Plan Anger Keeps Coming."
Lawmakers ran into fresh anger and skepticism on Wednesday as they fielded questions from constituents worried about changes in the health care system, and about a lot of other things having to do with government.
The queries hurled at legislators from the Atlantic Seaboard to the nation's midsection reflected deep-seated fears, a general suspicion of government and, in some cases, a lack of knowledge on the part of the questioners.
Remember when the children of public figures were off-limits in the day-to-day hand-to-hand combat of political warfare?
It's a rule that didn't just applied to the underage children of politicians, but the adult children. Witness the 2008 suspension of MSNBC's David Shuster for suggesting then-presidential contender Hillary Clinton's 28-year-old daughter Chelsea Clinton was being "pimped out" by the campaign.
But maybe that rule only applied to Democrats. When it comes to liberal pundits attempting to score cheap points against conservatives, especially ones they loathe like Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, all bets are off. In an Aug. 12 column, Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Jon Tevlin, citing a hateful anti-Bachmann blog, decided it appropriate to beat up the two-term congresswoman using her son Harrison's decision to participate in the government program Teach for America (TFA). TFA is one of the programs under the AmeriCorps umbrella.
The media are currently apoplectic about the Obama-as-Hitler references at town hall meetings across the country.
As we have reported again and again, they are often incorrectly ascribing these references to talk radio host Rush Limbaugh and conservatives - as it is lunatic fringe Leftist Lyndon LaRouche that is making these Obama-as-Hitler posters and comparisons.
But this collective media conniption at references to the President as Der Fuhrer is a new development. Back in the George W. Bush days, the Jurrasic Press was far less reviled by the often made Bush-as-Hitler comparisons, and indeed some saw similarites.
As you can see in the video at right. Anyone remember CNN's Susan Roesgen? She is the recently ex-CNN reporter who made a name for herself by assaulting on-air April 15 TEA Party protesters this past Tax Day.
But this clip is from January 13, 2006, with Ms. Roesgen reporting from New Orleans on Hurricane Katrina. During which she says, in reference to a man in a giant Bush head with a Hitler mustache (and devil horns):
"The cruelty inherent in scaring the elderly to score political points is beyond reprehensible.... [T]he sort of scurrilous campaign they are conducting--the seditious fear-mongering that is the main staple of their public diet--is a matter of profound disrespect and incivility toward the individuals whose rights they claim to cherish."
So huffed Time magazine's Joe Klein, in an August 12 Swampland blog post seething at rumors of "death panels" being provided for in health care reform legislation before Congress. Klein expressed disgust at Republicans who would seek political advantage by scaring the elderly with inaccurate and misleading rhetoric.
But one might wonder where Klein's moral indignation was during the 1990s, when the liberal media, including Time magazine, were complicit in bolstering the Democratic meme about drastic Republican "cuts" to Medicare.
As MRC archives show, the liberal media was complicit with liberal Democrats in the 1990s in scaring seniors into fearing non-existent "cuts" to Medicare. From the July 1996 MediaWatch (emphasis mine):
With the Obama administration and their friends in the media denouncing the sometimes loud dissent that liberals are facing in town hall meetings on health care, it’s worth recalling how some of those same journalists celebrated the anti-Bush dissenters and denounced what they claimed was the Republican administration’s attempts to stifle dissent.
Back in 2006, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann attacked what he called President Bush’s “portable public chorus” (does President Obama have one of those?) For telling “those who dissent...[that] we are somehow un-American.” PBS’s Bill Moyers in 2003 found it “galling” to see “all those moralistic ideologues in Washington...attacking dissenters as un-American.”
In 2003, Olbermann saluted protests: “It is political dissent that created this country and sustained it and improved it.” But on Friday’s Countdown, Olbermann called the anti-Obama protests “societal sabotage,” determined that the grassroots groups are “fake” and insisted that “the protestors are not interested in hearing any voices other than their own.” (But the anti-Bush protesters were open-minded?)
The New York Times suddenly isn't so fond of community organizing, now that the right has gotten into the game, attacking Obama's health-care proposals in clamorous town halls held by Democratic congressmen over the August recess.
In fact, the Times agrees with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that such meetings have become "hostile" and "extreme." "Beyond Beltway, Health Debate Turns Hostile" is the headline over a very slanted front-page story Saturday by Ian Urbina.
The bitter divisions over an overhaul of the health care system have exploded at town-hall-style meetings over the last few days as members of Congress have been shouted down, hanged in effigy and taunted by crowds. In several cities, noisy demonstrations have led to fistfights, arrests and hospitalizations.
Democrats have said the protesters are being organized by conservative lobbying groups like FreedomWorks. Republicans respond that the protests are an organic response to the Obama administration's health care restructuring proposals.
There is no dispute, however, that most of the shouting and mocking is from opponents of those plans. Many of those opponents have been encouraged to attend by conservative commentators and Web sites.
On Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, FNC host Bill O'Reilly hosted a discussion with FNC analyst and former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg, as the two pointed out the mainstream media's double standard in "obsessing" over how protesters who have been challenging ObamaCare were organized, but have shown no interest in the organization of protesters by left-wing groups. After O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" addressed the subject, Goldberg observed:
The word "hypocrisy" in your "Talking Points" is the key word. Civil rights demonstrations, anti-war demonstrations, pro-abortion rights demonstrations, environmental demonstrations, I don't remember the media obsessing about who got these people out to the demonstration site, who orchestrated the demonstration, who manufactured, to use another of their words, the anger at the demonstrations. ... But the media only feels an obligation to look behind the curtain at the forces that are orchestrating and manufacturing the demonstrations when it's a conservative demonstration.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, August 6, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
UPDATE: We have some video of the attack. It appears that it is members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) doing at least some of the dirty work.
But it's conservatives who engage in violence and hate speech, right?
The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that one of their own, reporter Jake Wagman, was one of six people arrested in connection with the beating of a conservative activist outside of a town hall forum held by Democrat Congressman Russ Carnahan.
According to Dawn Majors, a Post-Dispatch photojournalist who witnessed everything unfold, an officer said that Wagman had been "interfering."
From the article:
Kenneth Gladney, a 38-year-old conservative activist from St. Louis, said he was attacked by some of those arrested as he handed out yellow flags with “Don't tread on me” printed on them. He spoke to the Post-Dispatch from the emergency room of the St. John's Mercy Medical Center, where he said he was waiting to be treated for injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face that he suffered in the attack. Gladney, who is black, said one of his attackers, also a black man, used a racial slur against him before the attack started.
"It just seems there's no freedom of speech without being attacked," he said.
That is some list of injuries, which means it must have been some beating. And Gladney says he was attacked by "some of those arrested," which means there were probably more in the mob than just that.
And let us not overlook nor forget the racial slur Gladney additionally endured.
So how unusual is it for a new President to be featured seven times on Time’s cover, as Barack Obama has been (with First Lady Michelle Obama snagging her own solo appearance)? A look back at Time’s covers finds Bill Clinton matched Obama’s celebrity in 1993 — seven covers for himself, one for Hillary. But the last three Republican Presidents — Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush — were given relatively short shrift. (Larger images below the jump.)
Indeed, looking at the covers from when those three Republicans won the presidency through early August of their first year in office, Reagan and the two Bushes combined were only featured seven times — and it would have been only six if Reagan hadn’t been shot by an attempted assassin (April 13, 1981 cover story).
Here's a particularly noteworthy "Name That Party" follow-up.
In a February post ("AP’s ‘Name That Party’ Twist: Disgraced PA Judges’ Dem Party ID Disappears After Initial Inclusion"; at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the Associated Press had originally identified the party of two Democratic judges involved in a shocking scheme that pushed thousands of juvenile offenders into detention centers for minor offenses in return for millions in kickbacks.
However, in longer subsequent reports, the AP dropped the party affiliation of Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella (pictured at left) and Michael Conahan.
This evening, in a 5-paragraph story (as of 7:47 p.m.; story could change over time) about a federal judge's refusal to accept plea agreements from the pair, AP Writer MaryClaire Dale stayed consistent with the wire service's see-no-Democrats approach to developments in this grisly story:
On Tuesday's Glenn Beck Program on FNC, host Beck picked up on P.J. Gladnick's recent NewsBusters posting which helped bring attention to President Obama's double standard in charging that Congress was "rushed" by the Bush administration into passing budgets and anti-terrorism measures with little time for debate -- in a 2004 interview with Randi Rhodes on the left-wing Air America -- even though as President he has pressed Congress to act quickly on a number of major spending proposals since taking office.
Beck also ran a clip of Congressman John Conyers as the Michigan Democrat scoffed at suggestions members of Congress should read and understand bills before voting for them. Conyers: "To get up and say, 'Read the bill.' What good is reading the bill if it's 1,000 pages and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?"
During the show's regular "Hot List" segment, Beck recounted: "The Web site NewsBusters.org posting a November 2004 interview with Air America's Randi Rhodes, where Senator-elect Obama complains about the Bush administration."
Then an audio clip of Obama from the 2004 interview ran:
The Bloomberg administration in New York has happened upon an idea for at least partially solving the city's homeless problem: Buy them tickets to get to the homes of relatives in the U.S. or abroad who will take them in.
Along the way, the New York Times's coverage of the story throws out an estimate of annual costs to take care of a homeless family that is either ridiculously high, or indicative of out-of-control bloat. The story also reveals the dense logic of a so-called "homeless advocate" who believes that the people sent away are still homeless. Finally and separately, though I couldn't find a reference myself, a well-known blogger asserts that a similar approach to the problem taken by another city was derided as uncaring.
The New York Times Sunday Business section contained a "Corner Office" profile by Adam Bryant -- an interview with Carol Smith, senior vice president of the fashion magazine Elle. It had a provocative title that apparently no one at the Times found particularly provocative: "No Doubts: Women Are Better Managers."
Times Watch has no grounded opinion on that matter, and the Times is just relaying the opinion of the magazine publisher. But it's safe to say the headline "No Doubts: Men Are Better Managers" will never grace the pages of the Times. An excerpt:
Q. It sounds as if you've thought a lot about men versus women as managers.
A. I have, I have.
Q. Please share.
A. Hands down women are better. There's no contest.
A. In my experience, female bosses tend to be better managers, better advisers, mentors, rational thinkers. Men love to hear themselves talk. I'm so generalizing. I know I am. But in a couple of places I've worked, I would often say, "Call me 15 minutes after the meeting starts and then I'll come," because I will have missed all the football. I will have missed all the "what I did on the golf course." I will miss the four jokes, and I can get into the meeting when it's starting.
Anti-Bush 9-11 "Truthers" get a fair hearing from the New York Times, but anti-Obama "Birthers" are harshly criticized, and Rush Limbaugh is of course to blame.
Media reporter Brian Stelter's Saturday Business story, "A Dispute Over Obama's Birth Lives On in the Media," questioned those questioning Obama's birth certificate, his citizenship, and his resulting eligibility for the presidency. Good for the Times. But where is the Times's critcism when liberals gin up wackier conspiracy theories?
Back in June 2006, Times reporter Alan Feuer showed far more respect to a conspiracy theory many times more incendiary and implausible: That the 9-11 attacks were an inside job, that the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon were engineered by President Bush. Yet not once did Feuer dismiss the 9-11 Truthers bizarre charge as a "conspiracy theory," as Stelter did in the first line of his Sunday piece on the Birthers:
Watching Associated Press reports evolve, or as is all too often the case, devolve, can be a revealing exercise.
Example: What happened between 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday that would have caused the Associated Press and writer Nancy Benac to water down the headline and opening paragraphs of their story about the Obama-Gates-Crowley situation from this ....
Someone at the Associated Press got a headline mostly right ("Obama rushes to quell racial uproar he helped fire") -- although you still have to wonder if it had been almost anyone else, if something along the lines of "xxxx stops short of full apology" would have been used instead.
AP writer Nancy Benac's story does note a couple of clear negatives in Barack Obama's behavior in the Henry Gates matter, but it also lapses into blather about "the nation's keen sensitivities on matters of race."
Benac also blew by an incendiary comment by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about the President's police union critics reported earlier today at the Politico -- "I think the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed McCain, if I'm not mistaken" -- that surely would not have been ignored had a Republican president's PressSec had made a similar statement about a Democrat-endorsing group. It as if, in Gibbs's world, partisanship is the only reason the FOP defended officer James Crowley.
Katie Couric provided some comic relief on this morning's Early Show, preaching the importance of objectivity in reporting. As evidence of her impartiality, the CBS Evening News anchor cited the fact that, as did Cronkite, she has gotten "grief from both sides of the aisle."
Now I suppose some of the more radical elements of the Red Army Faction might have found something to quibble with in Couric's coverage over the years. But how can the woman who has come to epitomize MSM liberal bias suggest with a straight face that criticism has come in comparable degree from the left and right?
Couric appeared as part of CBS's continuing coverage of Cronkite's passing and career. Her description of a dinner she had with him at the time she took over as Evening News anchor included this gem.
Although Muller explained that only customers who pass a federal background check at a licensed firearms dealer will be able to get a gun, Costello arbitrarily drew the line of responsibility at owning a handgun:
COSTELLO: You know, some people watching this might think, you know, owning a handgun is one thing, but owning an AK-47 is something else, and maybe this is just a tad irresponsible.
As if to put icing on the proverbial cake, Costello also hit Muller by trying to pick a theological fight of sorts, wondering if Jesus would approve of carrying guns. [CNN video embedded below]
In his report's apparent final incarnation early Tuesday morning, the AP writer:
Told us the amount of June's deficit ($94.3 billion), but didn't disclose the figures for June's receipts ($215.4 billion) or "outlays" ($309.7 billion), or how they compared to June of last year. In doing so, he "succeeded" in concealing the accelerating decline in tax collections.
Didn't tell us that the past month's deficit is by far the worst June ever.
"Forgot," as he did in May, to tell readers that the deficit would be hundreds of billions of dollars higher if it weren't for an "accounting change" retroactively put into place by Treasury in April that changed the definition of "outlays."
Cited the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as contributors to the deficit situation, while not identifying several other expenditure categories that have been worse offenders by far.
Found an economist, without dissent, to support the claim that what the Obama administration has done had to be done.
And that doesn't even count Crutsinger's Krugmanesque rewrites of the history of the 1930s Depression era and 1990s Japan, or the apparatchik-like tone present in a few of his paragraphs.
But just how "rapt" were those Ghanians? Were they any less rapt when President Bush visited Ghana last year?
The visit of the first African-American president, the son of a onetime Kenyan goat herder, electrified this small coastal nation and much of the region. Thousands of people lined streets, crowded rooftops, packed balconies, climbed trees, leaned out windows, even hung off scaffolding to glimpse his motorcade.
Somebody at the Columbus Dispatch has a bit of explaining to do.
You see, Ohio Governor's former Director of Community and Faith-Based Initiatives, one Robert "Eric" McFadden, after "years" of not getting caught, pleaded guilty last Thursday of two felonies for trying to market the "services" of a 17 year-old prostitute. Yes, a 17 year-old.
In his original report late Thursday morning on McFadden's plea -- a report no longer available at the paper's web site even though it is listed at a relevant site search (last item listed; screen cap is here for later reference) -- the Dispatch's Bruce Cadwallader gave a barely adequate description of the facts and circumstances surrounding both McFadden's day job and the double life that he had been leading "for years" up to his arrest in January.
But in his early-AM Friday report, which I have confirmed with a Dispatch representative is the one that went into the paper's July 10 print edition, Cadwallader "somehow" left out the "for years" reference, giving readers a clear and incorrect impression that McFadden had only recently begun his illicit activities.
My dear late father used to say that whenever a person's reaction is disproportionate to the stimulus, something else is at work. Keith Olbermann's "Worsting" of Ann Coulter on last night's Countdown [video] is a good illustration of the principle. Olbermann ostensibly awarded Ann his "Worst Person" for what was, after all, a rather mild swipe at Rachel Maddow, a tongue-in-cheek reference to her "raw sex appeal."
So what had really gotten under Olby's skin? What caused him to call Ann "putrid and evil"? Reference to the Coulter column in question reveals this paragraph, which Olbermann pointedly omitted from his Worst Person spiel:
Soon we'll only hear about Keith when his creepy e-mails using his mother's death to hit on chicks start making the rounds again. (Tip to Keith: When a girl refuses to give you her phone number, her assistant's phone number or her personal e-mail address, and only gives you her assistant's e-mail address, you're not halfway in the sack.)
The New York State Senate, it appears, has reached an all-time low.
One might possibly overlook the legislative wrangling, the blatant power-playing, the use of thuggery to enforce a particular party’s control over the Senate. One might also overlook the unbelievable childish behavior of the Senate, in which even New York Governor Patterson, owner of the lowest approval rating of any governor in the United States, looks positively Lincolnian. And one might even ignore the dearth of media coverage – after all, one can be thankful that the national media is not as fixated on this as they are on the burial arrangements of Michael Jackson.
But there is a new development that should not be ignored – something so heinous, the media would prove themselves worthless, if they do.
Put plainly, the New York Senate Democrats’ behavior, over the course of five months of Senate control, appears to be blatantly racist.
In a July 7 New York Times Magazine article ("The Place of Women on the Court"; HT to an e-mailer) apparently scheduled to appear in its July 12 print edition (based on its URL), Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told the Times's Emily Bazelon that "at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of."
Who is this "we" Ginsburg refers to?
Alleged reporter Bazelon did not follow up on this astounding admission.
Here, in full context of the Q&A discussion about women's reproductive rights, is Justice Ginsburg's statement:
Chief New York Times political reporter Adam Nagourney emphasized the negative in his Sarah Palin-based "Political Memo" on Sunday, "If Presidency Is Goal, Palin Has Chosen A Risky Route," suggesting that the Alaska governor, who ran for the vice presidency in 2008, has few political credentials toward making a possible presidential run in 2012.
By stepping down before finishing her term, she cannot claim to be even a one-term governor. Without a positive record of accomplishment as governor, Ms. Palin may find she has little to run on as she seeks to achieve a critical political goal: expanding her appeal beyond the conservative voters who crowd her rallies and write checks on her behalf.
Let's compare. Barack Obama was a full-time senator for two years: He was sworn into the Senate in January 2005, launched his presidential campaign in January 2007, and resigned his Illinois senate seat after winning the presidency in November 2008 -- two years before his term expired. But somehow Obama not being even a one-term senator never became a campaign issue for the Times, even though the paper constantly portrayed vice presidential candidate Palin as hopelessly green.
By this time, the NewsBusters connoisseur will have surely heard about yesterday’s unofficial celebration in the White House press briefing. Like many parties, it was somewhat louder than normal, a bit tense at points, and the press – specifically Chip Reid and Helen Thomas – topped off the early Independence Day festivities by roasting (figuratively, of course) Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
That, incidentally, does not normally happen at parties – even at the White House.
The Robert Roast was, of course, in reference to the recent spate of staged White House press events. The White House press corps, apparently, do not enjoy heavily produced events, such as the “town hall” meeting with DNC volunteers and union members. However, Carl Bernstein, appearing on the July 2 Morning Joe, did not take kindly to the gentle press-corps broiling: