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.
With 15minutesoffame comes 15 hours of “gotcha” scrutiny -- especially if you’re a voter who has daredto criticize Barack Obama, the liberal media’s Chosen One for president.
Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher has had his 15 minutes of fame, capping it off with an unplanned appearance as the poster boy of populist tax policy in last night’s presidential debate. So now it’s time for the press to turn its sights on him not as a human-interest story but as an investigative subject.
Jonathan Martin of The Politico was among the first out of the gate, with blog posts noting that Wurzelbacher, affectionately known by most of America as “Joe The Plumber,” has a tax lien against him and doesn’t have a plumber’s license. Martin conveniently forgot to mention that the law doesn’t require one.) Bloomberg also has a story on the tax lien, and AP and The Washington Post did their part to make a story out of the “unlicensed” non-story.
On the trail with Sarah Palin in Richmond, Va., New York Times reporter Patrick Healy filed a condescending profile of her stump speech in Tuesday's "A Riveting Speaker, Waving the Flag."
Healy claimed that Palin's "partisan zeal" and "with-us-or-against-us message" could "repel some independent voters," and that her speeches have "holes in logic." It was the sort of treatment that gaffe machine Joe Biden never receives from the Times:
Here is the thing about Gov. Sarah Palin: She loves America. Really loves it. She loves the smell of cut grass and hay, as she told Ohio voters Sunday. She loves Navy bases, she said in Virginia Beach on Monday morning. She loves America's "most beautiful national anthem," she told a crowd here a few hours later.
Shocker! The mainstream media highlights right wing hate, but nearly ignores hate coming from the left. Such a topic best selling author and former CBS insider Bernard Goldberg exposed appearing on the October 13 "O’Reilly Factor." Host Bill O’Reilly scorned the media for accusing John McCain of "fostering and encouraging hatred" from a few crazies at his rallies, but give Democrats "a complete pass" for attending the vile DailyKos convention. A stunned O’Reilly wondered "am I living in the Twilight Zone?"
Bernie Goldberg agreed and added the media elite "were never concerned" about constant references to Bush as a Nazi. Accentuating O’Reilly’s point that Democratic presidential candidates attended the DailyKos convention, Goldberg also reminded the audience that these same candidates boycotted Fox News. Goldberg concluded "case closed. That’s all you need to know about that."
A Barack Obama supporter in Ohio with deep roots in Democratic politics -- and a 2001 sex-related felony conviction to his name -- is behind two new confrontational videos that bait ignorant people into calling Barack Obama a terrorist.
The first video was released Wednesday and has gone viral. It currently has more than 1.1 million views on YouTube. Part II went online a day later and is well on its way to viral status, with more than 145,000 views.
The John McCain and Sarah Palin supporters in the videos are characterized as “The McCain-Palin Mob.” The videos selectively feature voters who, upon being asked antagonistic questions, make some outrageous statements about Obama.
Voting for Round One of the Sweet-On-Obama Sixteen ends on Sunday. Head there now and cast your ballots. And if you've already voted, check back now and throughout the weekend to see how your choices are faring.
The smart folks soberly support Barack Obama, while the ridiculous-looking rednecks love Sarah Palin. That's the subtext of the New York Times coverage on Wednesday. Jennifer Steinhauer was watching the second presidential debate with Obama fans at a Mexican restaurant in Des Moines, "Where He First Got Going, Cheering Obama On."
Debate watchers at Dos Rios -- the sort of crowd that can cite chapter and verse of Medicaid waivers without notes -- watched intensely, taking their eyes off the television only to grab a Corona.
Strangely, one of the self-evident geniuses in attendance thinks Barack Obama wants universal health care, despite the Times' desperateinsistence that that's just one of the McCain campaign's many lies:
Health care was clearly a big issue in this crowd, and Mr. Obama's statement that health care was a "right" got a big round, too. "I like the fact that he is taking steps toward universal health care," said Mr. Matson, an osteopath.
In contrast, a Republican rally in Florida featuring Sarah Palin is painted in threatening terms by the Times. In herWednesday story, "Palin Plays to Conservative Base in Florida Rallies," Julie Bosman seems perturbed at the sight of conservative Republicans in their natural element.
In his weekly column, New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt ludicrously argued that Barack Obama has gotten tougher coverage since January 2007 (when Obama entered the race) than John McCain:
By my count, The Times has published more tough articles on Obama, 20, than on McCain, 13, since the beginning of last year.
The Times has never filed any story targeting Obama that remotely approaches the mendacity of its February 21 hit piece alleging a McCain affair with a telecommunications lobbyist (Hoyt himself at the time said the Times was wrong to run the affair allegations). Also, Hoyt's narrow definition of bias helpfully eliminates stories with asides about McCain's temper, or constant mentions of McCain's "gaffes."
Taking liberal media audacity to higher levels, John Heilemann would have you believe that the loss of support from liberal journalists is itself evidence the wheels are falling off the McCain campaign. Heilemann recently wrote about a "shift" in the attitudes and opininos of the media away from John McCain and towards Barack Obama. His examples are, well, typical.
Jonathan Alter, Joe Klein, Richard Cohen, David Ignatius, Jacob Weisberg: all former McCain admirers now turned brutal critics. Equally if not more damaging, the shift has been just as pronounced, if less operatic, among straight-news reporters. Suddenly, McCain is no longer being portrayed as a straight-talking, truth-telling maverick but as a liar, a fraud, and an opportunist with acute anger-management issues.
By a show of hands, how many of you knew these guys were, as Heilemann reports, "former McCain admirers?"
When interviewed by Eyeblast.tv last month, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that YouTube, the video-sharing site owned by his company, is "pretty serious" about removing the "strange" videos that keep popping up on the site, especially videos "that can be used to incite bad outcomes." Apparently videos designed to incite Catholics don't fall into that category.
A YouTube user who goes by the moniker "fsmdude" has posted more than 30 videos under the title "Eucharist Desecration." Each video features an attack on a symbol that Catholics consider sacred -- by blow gun, nail gun, boiling, sword and cigarette in a few recent episodes.
The creator of the videos isn't subtle about his intent. He was angered by reports of a college student allegedly receiving e-mail threats from "fanatical Catholics" after the student snatched a wafer at mass, so "fsmdude" decided to repeatedly profane the Eucharist on camera for all to see.
"Does Palin have explaining to do," Chicago Tribune religion blogger Manya Brachear asked in her post-vice presidential debate blog post. Here's how Brachear opened her October 3 entry at her "The Seeker" blog:
Pentecostals have called on the mainstream media to stop mocking their sister Sarah Palin. But when will the Republican vice-presidential candidate answer the questions that swirl every time a new church video surfaces on YouTube? Was Thursday's prime time debate yet another missed opportunity?
By contrast, a review of Brachear's blog entries dealing with Sen. Obama's controversial former pastor,Rev. Jeremiah Wright, show Brachear did not have similar concerns with Obama's relationship with Wright. Indeed, back in June, Brachear asked, "Can a candidate worship in peace?" The Trib staffer was referring to the fact that Obama was leaving Trinity United Church of Christ, blaming media scrutiny for ruining the worship experience for himself and his fellow parishioners:
Sarah Palin may have pleased Republicans and surprised Democrats with her strong performance in Thursday night's vice presidential debates, but her "carefully scripted talking points" and shallow style were the opening theme of Friday's lead story in the New York Times by Patrick Healy, "Cordial but Pointed, Palin and Biden Face Off."
Gov. Sarah Palin used a steady grin, folksy manner and carefully scripted talking points to punch politely and persist politically at the vice-presidential debate on Thursday night, turning in a performance that her rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., sought to undermine with cordially delivered but pointed criticism.
Remember the furor and the comedic punch lines as a result of Sarah Palin’s statement, implying that she needed someone to clarify the role of the Vice President?
Well, brace yourselves for a similarly overwhelming media reaction to Joe Biden’s solution on where one can locate the definition of the Vice President’s role – Article I of the Constitution.
Problem being, it’s actually Article II.
To most, this will simply constitute another famous Biden gaffe. However, Biden was so forceful and patronizing in his argument during last night’s debate that Dick Cheney should realize ‘Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president,’ that it bears pointing out.
The full excerpt from the debate follows (h/t to Michelle Malkin):
Washington Post metro columnist Marc Fisher treated readers of the October 2 paper to a look at outgoing "moderate" Republican Wayne Gilchrest (1st District-Md.), who was felled in a primary contest back in February by a conservative state senator backed by the fiscally conservative group Club for Growth.
Fisher dutifully documented and then applauded not only Gilchrest's disillusionment with Sen. John McCain and his disdain for the GOP's conservative base, but of the American middle class at-large, whom he charged as obsessed with "comfort." (emphasis mine):
Wayne Gilchrest, the nine-term Republican congressman who represents Maryland's Eastern Shore and parts of Anne Arundel County, has had it, and he's ready to talk.
He's had it with his own party, which he says "has become more narrow, more self-serving, more centered around 'I want, I want, I want.' " He's finished with his party's presidential candidate, John McCain, who Gilchrest says "recites memorized pieces of information in a narrow way, whereas Barack Obama is constantly evaluating information, using his judgment. One guy just recites what's in front of him, and the other has initiative and reason and prudence and wisdom."
On the October 1 edition of "The View" Barbara Walters chastised Elisabeth Hasselbeck for allegedly never conceding a point, but never offered such a criticism for left-wing ideologue Joy Behar or even looney conspiracy theorist Rosie O’Donnell. This occurred just as rumors abound that Elisabeth is clashing with her fellow co-hosts.
Responding to more Sarah Palin bashing and Joy Behar labeling the Alaska governor "dumb" (talk about the pot calling the kettle black) Hasselbeck once again rose up as the lone voice on the panel, and even a hostile studio audience, in defending Governor Palin. Apparently taking issue with disputing some co-hosts’ assertion that Palin lacks the intellectual capacity to be vice president, Barbara Walters exclaimed "every single day you never ever say ‘maybe this is another point.’"
While both CNN.com and FoxNews.com sent e-mail alert subscribers "breaking news" alerts on the Dow's steep slide yesterday in reaction to failure of the bailout package in the House of Representatives, CNN didn't think it worthy of a breaking news text to note the gains made today in the market.
Here are the Fox News text messages sent on September 30 regarding the Dow Jones:
DOW REGAINS NEARLY 500 POINTS ONE DAY AFTER RECORD LOSS (received 4:08 p.m. EDT)
DOW REBOUNDING, UP MORE THAN 300 POINTS A DAY AFTER 778-POINT FREEFALL (received 1:27 p.m. EDT)
Below, in reverse chronological order are the text message alerts I received from Fox News and CNN.com yesterday tracking the Dow's drop.:
Joe Biden's FDR gaffe was noticed, but with a shoulder shrug, by Newsweek's October 6 edition of "Conventional Wisdom." The same feature cheered Obama's debate performance as "presidential," gave the thumbs up to Dave Letterman's tirade against Sen. John McCain, and reveled in Gov. Sarah Palin's "moose caught in the headlights" interview with CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric.
"Most popular YouTube video of the week: Katie Couric field-dressing Palin. Sometimes it takes a woman to expose a woman," read the introductory caption for the "First Great Debate Edition" of the weekly CW digest.
Yet when it came to Obama's gaffe-prone running mate, the CW only assigned a sideways arrow to the Delaware senator: