Imagine if you will, President Bush or Gov. Sarah Palin saying the following in a sit down interview or a Sunday morning show appearance:
We had a crisis, we kicked it down the can.... These are – just taking those two examples, these are crises you can no longer afford to kick down the can.... The crisis we have here, the American people know we have one and they are ready and willing to start to tackle those problems. You cannot afford now to kick those down the can any longer.
Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann would have their share of guffaws at the gaffe. The Daily Show might use it as a "Moment of Zen" and other broadcast and print outlets would be sure to get their licks in.
Yet neither President George W. Bush nor the Alaska governor said those things. President-elect Barack Obama's chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel did, much to Politico's delight. Yet rather than heap scorn on Emanuel, reporter Carol Lee found the Illinois Democrat's "Rahmbonics" endearing, comparing them favorably to beloved baseball icon Yogi Berra's way with words:
British premier Gordon Brown, a former chancellor of the Exchequer -- analogous to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury -- delivered a thinly-veiled entreaty to President-elect Barack Obama to eschew trade protectionism in a November 10 speech, reports Kevin Sullivan of the Washington Post Foreign Service. Post editors buried Sullivan's 18-paragraph article on page A15:
LONDON, Nov. 10 -- Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday warned that trade protectionism would worsen the global financial crisis, a remark widely perceived as aimed at U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.
In a speech lauding the "global power of nations working together," Brown called for "rejection of beggar-thy-neighbor protectionism that has been a feature in transforming past crises into deep recessions."
Obama's campaign rhetoric struck some allies as protectionist, particularly his calls for tax incentives to discourage companies from relocating jobs away from the United States.
A 44-year old New Jersey man has been arrested in Washington, D.C., for allegedly urinating on people while intoxicated at a Grateful Dead tribute band concert. Talk about embarassment, a Grateful Dead tribute band?! Oh, did I mention the man is a Jersey City Democratic councilman?
The AP ignored Steve Lipski's Democratic party affiliation in a November 9 story about the Friday incident, even though it was bylined from Jersey City and presumably a reporter filing from there could readily discover Lipski's Democratic Party affiliation. After all, the Democratic pol once ran unsuccessfully for Atlantic City mayor.
A November 9 UPI story on Lipski's arrest noted an unidentified source at D.C.'s popular 9:30 Club that Lipski has a rap for drunken, um, revelry:
In what can only be described as delusional, Los Angeles Times writer James Rainey attempted to castigate the right wing media as a bitter and resentful group of shameless journalists - attributes that can only describe the liberal media's behavior for at least eight years now.
The title itself, ‘Right-wing media feeds its post-election anger,' demonstrates that Rainey will not be pulling any punches with his article. But why is he focusing on the reaction of conservative talk show hosts less than one week after Obama's election? Did he forget the liberal media's - nay, the mainstream media's - chronic case of misplaced anger since election night of 2000?
The answer, of course, is no. Rainey's employer, the LA Times, has been one of the biggest offenders of liberal media ignorance in quite some time. After all, The Times has produced rants that read like a rap sheet of bias.
Appearing on MSNBC shortly after 1 p.m. EST with anchor Andrea Mitchell, The Atlantic's Ron Brownstein rebuked House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) for drawing a legitimate criticism of President-elect Obama's choice of what he described as the "sharp-elbowed" Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) as his White House chief-of-staff (see video embedded at right, transcript is below page break).
Mitchell dismissed as "warfare" and Brownstein hit as "reflexive partisanship" Boehner's rather mild statement:
This is an ironic choice for a President-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center.
Matthew Vadum (Right) Speaking Truth to Flower PowerAs Bill Cosby said via Fat Albert and the Gang, it's like school on Saturday: No class.
NewsBusters.org Contributor, the estimable Matthew Vadum of the Capital Research Center, made an October 30th appearance on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, during which he discussed the many illegal activities of the community organizing group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and their long relationship with the media's all-time favorite candidate: Illinois Democratic Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Obama. Soon thereafter, Mr. Vadum changed his Facebook Profile photograph to one of him hamming it up with his Daily Show interlocutor John Oliver.
This was all too much for New York Times reporter Dan Mitchell. Mitchell sent Mr. Vadum a poison Halloween Facebook email, which is hostile from start to finish and in which he calls Mr. Vadum the aforementioned body part.
The Mitchell email in its entirety, with the one word redacted so as to maintain our G-rating:
When Katie Couric was trying to pin Sarah Palin down on examples of John McCain having promoted increased government regulation of business, the CBS anchor, after her initial inquiry, posed no fewer than three follow-up questions, even breaking out the old "not to belabor the point" line as she did just that.
But when the man perhaps poised to become the most powerful person on the planet, with the world's most sophisticated communication resources at his fingertips, claims "I haven't been able to get in touch" with his aunt who has been living illegally in this country for over four years—and who resides at a known address in a public housing project in Boston—Couric doesn't bat an eye. To the contrary, she can be seen nodding in agreement. And far from asking a follow-up question, such as "have you tried?", Couric tossed Obama a super-slo softball, asking him to describe the thing the McCain campaign has done that's made him angriest.
Busybody Keith Olbermann couldn't wait to see how Saturday Night Live was going to portray him. So, says Politico.com's Michael Calderone, he apparently breached the show's (I thought) tight security to find out.
And of course, when contacted, the MSNBC host took yet another cheap shot at his personal obsession, Sarah Palin. It was just a few weeks ago on NBC's Sunday Night Football that Olbermann made a Palin Derangement Syndrome-betraying allusion when describing the mental condition of a just-injured NFL quarterback.
In a damage control piece Thursday, Associated Press writer Kimberly Helfing attempted to portray Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha's last-minute use of high-profile advisor Tony Podesta as "shoring up" his support, characterized accusations directed at residents of his district as only targeting "some" of them, and failed to mention Murtha's opponent until the fifth paragraph.
The facts are that Murtha is not clearly ahead in the polls (ahead by not much here, behind by more here), that he may very well be behind in reality against challenger William Russell, and that Murtha directed his "racist" characterization at 12th District residents in general, not just "some" of them.
Here are the key paragraphs from Helfing's report:
For a guy who calls for the rejection of the "politics of fear and division," Bob Cesca has an odd way of showing it. His HuffPo column is one long, headfirst dive into the ugly politics he purports to decry. Cesca hurls insult after distortion not merely at Sarah Palin, but more importantly, at the Americans who support her. Among other things, Cesca-the-rejector-of-division calls Sarah Palin's supporters "easily-led gomers."
Read along, as we excerpt from Cesca's cesspit [emphasis added]:
The Media Research Center's Director of Communications and NewsBusters.org Contributing Editor Seton Motley appeared on the Fox News Channel's America's Election HQ with Megyn Kelley to discuss the Los Angeles Times refusing to release a video of Illinois Democratic Senator and Presidential nominee Barack Obama attending the apparently anti-Israel going-away party for anti-Israel professor Rashid Khalidi in April 2003.
The Times did write a story about it at the time, but recently knowledge of the tape's existence came to light and they have steadfastly refused to release it.
Motley pointed out that this is but the latest in a long list of things potentially damaging to Sen. Obama that the media has obfuscated or outright ignored in their coverage of the Presidential race, including his relationships with Khalidi, remorseless domestic terrorist William Ayers, his anti-American pastor and self-described "mentor" and "spiritual advisor" of two decades Jeremiah Wright and convicted felon Tony Rezko.
The Associated Press this morning did a short and sweet hit piece on Sarah Palin, criticizing the Alaska Governor for acting as, well, the Alaska Governor.
Anne Sutton of the AP essentially mocks Palin for governing the state by ‘remote control.’ It’s not so much the criticism as it is the reality that if Sarah Palin wasn’t doing her job, the AP would be hammering her for that instead. The headline would go from ‘Palin manages to govern Alaska from afar’ to ‘Palin manages to neglect Alaska while campaigning.’
Sutton goes on to offer these hard-hitting examples of journalism that have come to define the AP, using such concrete descriptors as ‘almost a month’ and ‘probably’ to define lengths of time and cost respectively. The entire article follows (emphasis mine):
Blogger Patrick "Patterico" Frey yesterday devoted a blog post to the difference between how the media are reporting a thwarted assassination attempt against President Bush versus the recent arrest of some skinheads plotting harm to Sen. Barack Obama.
Patterico noted that the Bush conspirators were farther along in their plans than the skinheads targeting Obama, and yet there was no discernible mainstream media attention to the plot, wherein the principal conspirator pleaded guilty and was slapped with a 5-year sentence:
Guest blogger DRJ earlier posted about the alleged assassination plot against Barack Obama. As I always say when charges are made, charges are just charges, and have to be proved by the prosecution. But if these charges can be proved, then these men should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
But it got me thinking: this story is being reported everywhere, including in my beloved Los Angeles Times. I suspect it will be on front pages everywhere tomorrow morning.
New York Times reporter Patrick Healy profiled Michelle Obama in Akron, Ohio, speaking and making calls to undecided voters, in Tuesday's "New to Campaigning, but No Longer a Novice." The sycophantic Healy is quick to put Michelle Obama's "proud of America" gaffe in context and suggest it's a discredited charge.
And the photo caption over a picture of three adoring fans in Akron listening to her speak reads like a "dinner theatre" review from a local free paper:
In a raucous rally at a school gym in Akron, the would-be first lady had the audience laughing and cheering throughout.
A Fairfax County registrar's attempts to disenfranchise soldiers voting by absentee ballot is one step closer to being reversed thanks to a legal opinion issued yesterday by Virginia Attorney General Robert McDonnell (R). Although the Old Dominion is a hard-fought battleground state in the 2008 presidential election and John Kerry-backing Fairfax County should be a true-blue source of Obama votes, the story was given just five brief paragraphs on the page four "Virginia Briefing" feature of the October 28 paper's Metro section.
The fact that the registrar, Rokey W. Suleman II, is a partisan Democrat who has worked hard to register inmates at the county jail was unreported in both Christian Davenport's Oct. 28 brief and his full October 27 online article. In fact, Suleman's name itself was missing from the print edition squib.
Washington Examiner staffer William C. Flook reported on October 8 about Suleman's efforts to register jail inmates to vote. While not illegal, his push to register misdemeanor convicts stands in stark contrast to his hair-splitting read of Virginia state law to toss out military absentee ballots for lack of a witness's address (emphases mine):
Update: ABCNews.com has since changed out the McCain photo to show a grinning McCain.
Lee Boggs found that ABCNews.com augmented a generic horse-race campaign story by Mark Mooney on Monday morning with this slanted "photo illustration" -- or is it some sort of movie poster, with obvious Good Guy vs. Snidely Whiplash overtones? Or just JFK vs. Nixon? Mooney's article suggested Ohio was up for grabs between Good and Evil:
McCain started the week with good news in the Buckeye State, which was critical in President Bush's win over Sen. John Kerry in 2004 and Vice President Al Gore in 2000.
An Ohio Newspaper/University of Cincinnati poll indicates the Ohio race is a statistical dead heat, giving a 49-46 edge to Obama.
Could this agitprop art be more over the top -- on a "news" site?
The wife of former GOP presidential aspirant Fred Thompson took on Alan Colmes on the October 23 broadcast. Jeri Thompson, who heads up Team Sarah, a campaign effort to get out the vote for the McCain/Palin ticket, went toe-to-toe with the liberal co-host of "Hannity & Colmes" on the matter of the media's hyping the non-scandal of the RNC's wardrobe expenses for the Alaska governor.
Mrs. Thompson has personal experience with the viciousness of the liberal media against conservative Republican women, as NewsBusters coverage about the media dismissing her as a "trophy wife" can attest.
When Politico revealed the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 outfitting Sarah Palin and her family after she was picked as John McCain's running mate, one would assume it would be worthy of a brief, snarky story buried on the New York Times's "Caucus" page, filled mostly with anonymous Republicans griping about campaign spending priorities.
But Patrick Healy and Michael Luo's "$150,000 Wardrobe for Palin May Alter Tailor-Made Image" made the front page Thursday morning. (The other major papers had more self-control.) The Times played up what they saw as the hypocritical disconnect between Palin's "Joe-six-pack" appeal and the posh wardrobe from Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Spreading the WordAs we reported earlier, former Newsweek reporter Michael Hastings drops one rhetorical bomb after another on the media in a new article for GQ magazine. All of them reinforcing what we already knew, best summarized by Hastings himself: the press's "objectivity is a fallacy."
It has been a horrendous year for the media's credibility, and Hastings's statements only make it worse. "If (it) sounds like I had some trouble being ‘objective,' I did. Objectivity is a fallacy. In campaign reporting more than any other kind of press coverage, reporters aren't just covering a story, they're a part of it-influencing outcomes, setting expectations, framing candidates-and despite what they tell themselves, it's impossible to both be a part of the action and report on it objectively."
Hastings is utterly derisive of both former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Senator and Presidential nominee John McCain, both of whom he covered during the Republican primary. He in fact dreamed repeatedly of doing Giuliani harm as some sort of warped civic duty.
Wendi C. Thomas, a black journalist that has written for such media outlets as the Charlotte Observer, the Indianapolis Star and the Nashville Tennessean, was recently asked by what she called a "white man in Memphis" if blacks would riot if Barack Obama should lose the upcoming general election. The question made her angry, and I can't blame her for that anger. But, after a brief flash of sanity, Thomas turned the tables and went on to decide that it will be whites, rather, that will riot if Obama wins, not blacks if he loses.
At first Thomas had the absolute right answer for that "white man from Memphis." She wrote at TheRoot.com that ascribing to "blacks" the actions of rioting from some blacks is not a logical exercise. Even if some blacks rioted after an Obama loss, it is illegitimate to decide that all 40 million blacks in America would agree with that lawlessness. Who could disagree with this sensible comment?
The Media Research Center's Director of Communications and NewsBusters.org Contributing Editor Seton Motley appeared on the Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends this morning to discuss the media's stone silence on Delaware Democratic Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden's alarming comments on Sunday: "... (M)ark my words, within the next, first six months of this administration if we win, you're gonna face a major international challenge, because they are going to want to test him...."
Alaskan Republican Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin later rightly pointed during an interview on CNN that were she to have said the exact same thing, the press would have "clobbered" her.
Motley discussed all of this, and noted that a potential Barack Obama Administration would be a "call to arms" for the New Media, because in the last eighteen months the traditional media has time and again proven themselves to be utterly incapable of objectively covering the Illinois Democratic Senator.
Steven Greenhouse, the Times's pro-union, anti-Wal-Mart labor reporter, seemed pretty enthused about the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s attack mailings against John McCain in "A.F.L.-C.I.O. Targets Seniors," the neutrally headlined story he filed to the "Caucus" blog Tuesday morning. In contrast, another Times reporter, Damien Cave, was offended at the sight of two anti-Obama mailers in his Florida mailbox that dared to attack Obama on taxes and crime.
Only two of the 19 paragraphs of Greenhouse's story are devoted to (very mildly) fact-checking the false claims from the union-backed mailing. Here's an excerpt:
The latest mailer is headlined, "John McCain: A Disaster for Retirees." It criticizes his proposal for partially privatizing Social Security, saying, "This risky move will jeopardize the chances of a secure retirement for millions of Americans."
The mailer also seeks to undermine the Republican candidate by saying, "McCain will cut Medicare." It says he "wants to fund his pro-insurance company health care plan by taking more than $1 trillion from Medicare."
As NewsBusters previously reported, the same broadcast networks that two years ago could not get enough of the Mark Foley scandal, are offering little to no coverage of Foley’s successor, Tim Mahoney, now embroiled in a sex scandal of his own. The networks on October 21 completely ignored the news that Congressman Mahoney’s wife is now filing for divorce. Fox News’ "Fox and Friends" only provided a brief news read. After co-host Brian Kilmeade read the brief, Steve Doocy editorialized "I think [the Foley] scandal got more ink, didn’t it?"
In related news, Mark Foley himself recently announced his endorsement for Barack Obama. Though Obama won over another Republican, it’s a safe assumption it will not receive the same news coverage as Colin Powell.
Update: Mark Foley issued a statement denying his support for Obama:
Spreading the WordAs we reported earlier, former CBS news anchor Dan Rather noted on today's Morning Joe on MSNBC that the traditional media is largely ignoring Democratic Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden's alarming comment on Sunday: "... (M)ark my words, within the next, first six months of this administration if we win, you're gonna face a major international challenge, because they are going to want to test him...."
Rather pointed out "... (C)ertainly if Sarah Palin had said this it would be above the fold in most newspapers today... (I)f Sarah Palin had said this, the newspapers would have jumped all over it and so would have the major television outlets."
Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed with Rather's assessment, saying "I'm seeing spotty media coverage."
The CBS News blog "From the Road" suddenly realized that Joe Biden was not giving the media any access and that he hasn't held a press conference for well over a month. Even with this report, though, the media at large has been strangely quite on this disappearing act of Biden's, especially in light of the drubbing they handed out to Sarah Palin when she was not so forthcoming with the press as they'd have liked after her debut on the national stage.
Remember all the pained cries from the media that Palin was "hiding" from them? Remember how they agonized over her distance from them in the month following her addition to the McCain ticket? Yet, Biden is not only refusing any interaction with the press, he is, for the most part, not even taking any questions from voters during his campaign stops.
Still, the media seems unconcerned with scolding Biden as much as they did Palin.
The hosannas have already been sung in numerous stories of this variety from earlier in the campaign, but for some reason Babington thought fit to chronicle the cries of adulation from the Illinois senator's faithful followers (emphases mine; h/t e-mail tipster Joe Loiacono):
Only a fraction of the thousands of people who attend Obama's larger rallies manage to touch him. They arrive hours early, stand and cheer during his speech, and then scream, jump and sometimes cry out in joy when he uses both hands to briefly press their arms, hands, fingers.
The Media Research Center's Director of Communications and NewsBusters.org Contributing Editor Seton Motley appeared on the Fox News Channel's Fox News Live yesterday to discuss another New York Times hit job on the McCains, this one on wife Cindy.
Motley decries the Times sleazy, sub-tabloid tactics, points out their total fealty to Michelle Obama in a June profile and delineates the proper bounds to be observed in what is and is not fair game for the media regarding the spouses and families of candidates.
Embarrass Obama, and expect the liberal media to go after you, no matter who you are: That's what National Review journalist Byron York warned early Thursday afternoon.
He was quickly proven right by a story from reporter Larry Rohter in Friday's New York Times, "Real Deal On Plumber Reveals New Slant," in which Rohter took a wrench to Joe Wurzelbacher (aka "Joe the Plumber"), the citizen who dared to question Obama on his tax plan as the Democrat campaigned in his neighborhood in Toledo, Ohio. Obama responded with a classic paleo-liberal cliche: "I think that when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
That insight into Obama's mindset was politically fascinating, but Rohter buried it in the 11th paragraph of his story, focusing his investigation on such vital matters as "Joe's" actual first name (Samuel) and whether or not he has a plumber's license.