But a Florida Republican state legislator is only arrested for solicitation of oral sex from an undercover male police officer, and his party affiliation is rendered in the second paragraph of the AP story.
That doesn't seem to square with the AP Stylebook, which says party affiliation mention should be tested by relevance to the story and that in some stories "[p]arty affiliation is pointless."
We've seen the phenomena of the media forgetting to identify political parties when a Democrat is portrayed negatively and at times, when a Republican is portrayed positively, as during Rep. William Jefferson's (D-LA) corruption and bribery scandal. Conversely, an AP article about Sen. David Vitter's (R-LA) link to the “D.C. Madam” included his party in the first four words.
Since everyone doesn't read every article, it's important to pack the major facts into the initial paragraphs. The first several paragraphs offered many perfect spots to disclose Black's party, but they were not used. Also, the seriousness and details of the charges were minimized by vague descriptions. Between the vagueness of the charges and the lack of identification, the reader is left with questions (emphasis mine throughout):
In the New York Times' version of the gossip pages (the Sunday Styles section), reporter Susan Saulny injects a novel Democratic talking point into the potential candidacy of Republican Fred Thompson -- one involving his wife, in "Will Her Face Determine His Fortune?"
"As the election of 2008 approaches with its cast of contenders who bring unprecedented diversity to the quest for the White House, the voting public has been called on to ponder several questions: Is America ready for a woman to be president? What about a black man? A Mormon?
"Now, with the possible candidacy of Fred D. Thompson, the grandfatherly actor and former Republican senator from Tennessee, whose second wife is almost a quarter-century his junior, comes a less palatable inquiry that is spurring debate in Internet chat rooms, on cable television and on talk radio: Is America ready for a president with a trophy wife?
Many know by now that Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles has admitted to a lengthy affair with a television reporter. So, what do you call an extremely thoughtful, well-written commentary that suggests that the mayor uphold his wedding vows, immediately end his affair, repent for his actions, and work to restore the relationships between his wife and his children? If you're the helpless Tim Rutten at the Los Angeles Times, you call it a "hysterical screed."
Michael Yon doesn't have an answer (HT to NewsBuster reader "acumen") as to why Old Media won't cover the Al Qaeda massacre of a small village near Baqubah, Iraq that he reported earlier this week (related NewsBusters posts are here and here):
Coordinates to the area of the gravesites are MC 679 381.
In my dispatch, I reported that six people were killed, but mentioned that Iraqi soldiers were still digging out bodies when I left. A few hours ago, Colonel Hiduit put the number at 10-14, and said the search for bodies had ended. I made video of the graves, bodies and of interviews with Iraqi and American soldiers while we still were at the scene and have been working to make material from this available on this website.
..... But for those publications who actually had people embedded in Baqubah when the story first broke and still failed to cover it, their malaise is inexplicable. I do not know why all failed to report the murders and booby-trapped village: apparently no reporters bothered to go out there, even though it’s only about 3.5 miles from this base. Any one of the reporters currently in Baqubah could still go to these coordinates and follow his or her nose and find the gravesites.
So there was Elizabeth Edwards, wife of the Blow-Dried One, berating
Ann Coulter on the art of civil discourse last week. After her phone-in
appearance on the Chris Matthews show, St. Elizabeth was the toast of
the media town, making the rounds from one network to the next, with
rose pedals strewn in her path to guide her to her seat, denouncing the
“hatefulness” and “ugliness” of conservative commentators. “We can't
have a debate about issues if you're using this kind of language,” she
It’s a good thing none of her interviewers pretended
to be objective. It’s a good thing she wasn’t asked about hatefulness
and ugliness on the left. It would have been painful.
instance, what if she’d been asked to denounce a quote from a leading
liberal who favors rage as a necessary ingredient in fighting for a
rapid timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, and who attacked
congressional Democrats as weaklings: “We needed uncompromising rage,
and we got silence. We needed courage, and we got silence. And that
silence was, have no doubt about it, a betrayal: of the soldiers, of
the voters in 2006, of humanity and morality.”
The following was submitted by Jason Aslinger, a private practice attorney in Greenville, Ohio. Portions in bold below are the added emphasized of NB managing editor Ken Shepherd. It's a long post but it's worth the read:
In the wake of last week’s Supreme Court decision regarding racial
integration in public schools, the media have gone out of their way to
obscure the facts for the purpose of advancing its familiar political
agenda, not to mention skipped over giving readers a glimpse of the concurring opinions of Justices Thomas and Kennedy, both of which shed light on the case's significance to the average American.
In a prior NewsBusters post, I called out MSNBC's Keith
Olbermann for his false and race-baiting claim that the Supreme Court
had “overturned” the landmark decision of Brown v. Board of Education.
The subsequent commentary by the media has at least been more clever,
but no less false. Undoubtedly, the press and “expert commentators”
have calculated that the general public would not check their factual
(and political) conclusions by reading the Court’s 185-page opinion.
Without knowing the specific facts, the media distortions can not be
fully appreciated. Below we'll take a look at the facts of the case as well as the reasoning from the justices, reasoning that all too often is glossed over if not outright ignored in the media.
There are two Americas. One fans the flames of class warfare while running for office and the other knows that there is something disingenuous about a class-warfare spokesman posing on the cover of high-end fashion magazine. Yes, that's John Edwards on the cover of “Men's Vogue.” The same John Edwards who decried the "Two Americas" in 2004 (emphasis mine throughout):
Today, under George W. Bush, there are two Americas, not one: One America that does the work, another that reaps the reward...One America that is struggling to get by, another America that can buy anything it wants, even a Congress and a president.
For a magazine that seemed determined to pump up the Edwards campaign, describing Edwards as “the person who may shape our immediate future more than anyone in these pages is North Carolina's John Edwards...who just might be the boldest—and most refreshing—choice for 2008” and “a passionate advocate for rural America,” it strangely kicked off with a description that only reinforced Edwards' preening, very non-rural, metrosexual, hair-obsessed “Breck Girl” image:
If American media fails to cover this with the same amount of gusto that they have pursued Haditha and Abu Ghraib, they will be demonstrating their preference for whom they wish to win this conflict. The press has to tell the story that evil really does exist in this world. Imagine if the story of the Holocaust was never told because the media was only interested in reporting Allied atrocities. Yes, by failing to treat this war objectively, the media does indeed enable massacres such as this one and history will judge the coverage of this war very harshly.
Elizabeth Edwards is even more of a hypocrite than NewsBusters readers already think. Everyone knows that during the infamous “Hardball” phone-call confrontation, Mrs. Edwards criticized Ann Coulter's “hate speech” and her “personal attacks" that “lower our political dialog.” But regular readers know that NewsBusters pointed out the hypocrisy of Elizabeth Edwards' comments, considering that until liberal bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan resigned, they worked for the Edwards' campaign and were known for anti-Christian “hate speech” and "personal attacks" toward Republicans.
Now it's even worse than Mrs. Edwards condemning Coulter because "(w)e can't have a debate about issues [while] using this kind of language” after employing Marcotte and McEwan. Guess who hired them in the first place? Yep, Elizabeth Edwards herself.
There has been a massacre of innocent civilians in Iraq. An entire village of Iraqis were murdered and buried in a mass grave. The dead included women and children. The murderers even slaughtered the animals in the village. From the state of the surroundings it was obvious that this was a deliberate act - maybe brought on by rage of the death of a comrade or just the overwhelming pressure of fighting in a war zone.
Amazingly the media in the US has not picked up on the story. Tim McGirk has not headed to Iraq to do an expose on this latest My Lai incident. Murtha hasn't called a press conference to call out the perpetrators for committing "cold blooded murder". The liberal bloggers have failed to equate the massacre to the "torture" at Abu Ghraib.
The Iraqi government, especially the Prime Minister, has yet to demand an explanation or an investigation. The group, Iraq Veterans Against the War, has not scheduled a street theater like Operation First Casualty to decry the treatment of the civilians. United for Peace and Justice has not published a list of talking points about the incident. CodePink has yet to hold a fundraiser for the side fighting against the murderers.
Matt Sheffield's post over at Ace's place ("The Attempted Crucifixion of Frank Luntz") noted the heat PBS had received for having GOP pollster Frank Luntz participate as an analyst at last Thursday's Democrat debate:
The blog left's puppet master, David Brock, sends out an "alert" informing them that someone who might possibly be conservative is going to be allowed to report as a "mainstream" journalist.
..... Thankfully, PBS has not backed down. Luntz, who is a respected pollster and is often quoted in liberal publications is not getting the shaft, making him one of the very few Republicans that has (so far) managed to escape the assault of the conservaphobic left.
Mr. Brock and his Media Matters (MM) organization are being quite selective.
In August 2006, longtime "Friend of Bill" Clinton Vinod Gupta's Info USA, which had spent its entire corporate history in "data collection and distribution," made what should have been seen as an eyebrow-raising acquisition:
One doesn't have to look very far to see opinionated assertions in the supposedly objective Old Media coverage of yesterday's immigration-bill failure in the Senate.
Here's part of what an unbylined AP report said almost immediately after it was clear that the bill would not get the 60 votes needed for cloture: "The carefully crafted compromise was left for dead after a similar vote three weeks ago but was revived by Bush and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who gave opponents more chances to change it."
To say that there is disagreement over whether the bill was "carefully crafted" is quite an understatement.
A report in the Seattle Times "compiled from The Washington Post, Gannett News Service, The Associated Press and McClatchy Newspapers" made this claim about yesterday's vote: "In a mark of lawmakers' ambivalence, however, the outcome was substantially different from a test vote Tuesday, when a 64-35 vote revived the bill."
Was it lawmaker "ambivalence," or constituent persuasiveness? And how do they know?
But the biggest error, as often is the case, was one of omission. Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts lit into opponents on the Senate floor yesterday with this over-the-top riff (video is at Hot Air; bold is mine):
CBS’s "The Early Show" followed the other morning shows on June 28 to basically give free air time to the Edwards campaign. Anchor Harry Smith, who rarely, if ever, gives Republicans or conservatives a freeride, ran a largely softball interview to Elizabeth Edwards and her recent confrontation with Ann Coulter.
At the start, Smith labeled Ann Coulter a "conservative political commentator," but no label in front of Elizabeth Edwards.
The CBS anchor did ask a few mildly challenging questions such as using Coulter as a fund raising ploy, and why she called in and not Edwards. However, as Mrs. Edwards called for "speaking out against the language," Smith did not ask why she did not speak out against the hateful language of her own campaign staffers. Back in February, when questioned by Wolf Blitzer about his anti-Catholic blogger Amanda Marcotte, Edwards dismissed the criticism as coming "particularly from the far right."
As the media continue to pile on Ann Coulter in the wake of her being ambushed by Elizabeth Edwards and Chris Matthews on Tuesday’s “Hardball,” a disturbing yet predictable double standard is emerging.
On the one hand, Coulter is being pounded for using “hate words,” so much so that Matthews advocated Wednesday that people not buy her books.
Yet, Edwards and her Democrat presidential candidate husband John appear to be getting a pass regarding the hiring of two anti-Christian bigots back in February as official bloggers for his campaign.
In fact, Mrs. Edwards was interviewed this morning by ABC, CBS, and NBC to get another chance to speak about Coulter's "hate words." Yet, not one host asked her any questions concerning these bloggers.
With that in mind, MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement Thursday:
On Wednesday evening, ABC's World News with Charles Gibson and the NBC Nightly News both covered the Elizabeth Edwards/Ann Coulter controversy, noting that the Edwards campaign has eagerly used their run-ins with Coulter to raise campaign money. ABC's Jake Tapper uniquely noted this week's fundraising deadline for the presidential race, while relaying the Edwards campaign's success at raising "Coulter cash." Tapper: "Just as Coulter has a book to promote this week, Edwards has a fund-raising deadline. Enemies can have their uses."
NBC's David Gregory noted the Edwards campaign's immediate use of yesterday's flap to solicit campaign money, but the network also failed to put one of Coulter's controversial quotes in proper context, thus making it appear worse than it actually sounded in full. On Monday's Good Morning America, while answering a question about her joke from last March about John Edwards being a "faggot," Coulter suggested there was a double standard between the outrage over her remark and the greater tolerance by the media and liberals of a question by Bill Maher about whether the world would be a better place if Vice President Cheney had been assassinated. (Transcripts follow)
After immediately jumping on the news that then-House majority leader Tom DeLay was indicted by a Democratic Texas prosecutor, the big three networks refused to mention the Wednesday news that the Texas supreme court has approved the dismissal of one of the charges against him.
The charges were originally dismissed by a lower court judge (an event which the big three just barely covered) who ruled that the laws under which the former congressman was indicted did not exist during the time he was alleged to have violated them.
DeLay's indictments at the hand of a partisan Democratic prosecutor (the "Mike Nifong of Texas" as DeLay's blog calls him) were one of several charges of "corruption" leveled by the media and Democrats that helped turn the electoral tide against the GOP in the 2006 elections. After DeLay's indictment by Ronnie Earle, the press even went so far as to obscure Earle's political party, barely mentioning it or declining to do so at all.
That was a stark contrast to Wednesday night's coverage where DeLay's vindication was not mentioned at all.
June 19 edition had an interesting web-exclusive “Mind Matters”
column by Wray Herbert called “Toothless
which was about social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot
Aronson's new book, “Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me).” The
book and the column concerned the “psychological process known as
cognitive dissonance.” Sound like an unlikely candidate for bias?
Cognitive dissonance is “the extreme
emotional discomfort we feel when two important beliefs, attitudes or
perceptions collide. Humans cannot tolerate dissonance for long, so
they ease the tension by making a change in belief or attitude—and
justifying the change.”
Newsweek and Herbert, a fellow at the [Jimmy] Carter Center for
mental health journalism still managed to somehow throw in a little
liberal bias, with a vague reference that does not make clear whether
Newsweek or the study's authors named only Republicans (surprise!) as
examples of public figures with cognitive dissonance. After naming a
series of recognizable GOPers, Newsweek also got in dig at Bush and
those who still support the “misbegotten war”(emphasis mine):
As we've documented at NewsBusters, last year the media, particularly the Washington Post, raked then-Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) over the coals for his infamous "macaca" insult, and his ensuing profuse apologies for same. We've also documented that Democratic politicians' jokes about India and Indian-Americans have been largely ignored (see below the jump).
The latest racial incident kicking up dust on the 2008 campaign trail is yet another Democratic gaffe, dubbed by some, "Punjab-gate," after an Obama presidential campaign research memo cheekily described rival Hillary Clinton as a Democrat from Punjab, a province in India.
Of course, as the oppo memo itself notes, and as John McCormick of the Chicago Tribune reported in the Trib's "The Swamp" blog, Obama's staff were referring to another "lame attempt at humor" (my emphasis, see below jump) by the junior senator from the Empire State about her electoral chances were she to decide to relocate to India:
To ABCNews.com, defining marriage the traditional way is a radical “redefinition” of the institution. Is it any wonder that a majority of the American people, according to the National Cultural Values Survey, believe the news media are a major factor in America’s moral decline? (hat tip to Matt Barber at Concerned Women for America)
It seems that Rosie did more on “The View” than lame Donald Trump imitations, belittle Elisabeth Hasselbeck (as well as Republicans in general) and advance ridiculous conspiracy theories that defy logic, not to mention physics. Rosie also controlled the issues discussed on the “The View,” and while she was on the show, certain issues were off limits...like heterosexual sex.
According to the TV Guide, during a June 13 appearance on the popular LA-based radio show “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest,” Barbara Walters revealed the control that Rosie wielded over the show's daily discussions. From the TV Guide (bold mine throughout):
Al Roker was one of the villagers with torches who stormed the castle demanding that Don Imus be fired, but now the foot is in the other mouth. On the June 7 edition of the “Today” show, during a segment discussing London's truly horrible 2012 Olympic logo, which was said to have driven people into epileptic seizures upon viewing, Roker cracked a joke about the disorder. Without turning inflecting a politically correct tone or blowing the situation out of proportion, the New York Post reported his comments and next-day apology (hat tip: Insignificant Thoughts):
"Remember that controversial Olympic logo for the 2012 Olympics in London? Some folks have complained that the campaign actually sent them into epileptic seizures," Roker said on Thursday's show.
"Well, we asked you to weigh in on our Web site in an informal poll; those of you who could get up off the floor after shaking around were able to actually log in…"
I guess things have changed since Roker wrote in his blog that he was sick of the “ 'humor' at others expense” and “the cruelty that passes for funny” (bold mine throughout):
On the June 12 "Early Show," anchor Harry Smith again pounded Tony Snow, and Tony Snow again responded with a reprimand. Smith, who recently offered a puffy interview of Al Gore, continued his harsh interrogation of the White House press secretary. When discussing the G-8 summit, Snow asserted that Bush has "taken the lead" on initiatives such as climate change. Smith interrupted Snow like wise.
Can you remember the last time you heard "Today" or other MSM outlets describe, in terms such as "over the top," rabid anti-Bush protests by the likes of the Cindy Sheehan crowd, the Code Pink girls, or the folks pictured below ? Neither can I. Conversely, when Bill Clinton receives enthusiastic receptions overseas, the MSM breaks out the "rock-star" analogies, with no sarcasm in sight.
But let President Bush receive a warm welcome from Eastern European crowds who appreciate his leadership on behalf of their freedom, and "Today" just can't take it.
On this morning's "Today" at 7:04 am EDT, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reported from Bulgaria on the president's European trip, in which crowds in Bulgaria and notably in Albania greeted him very enthusiastically.
NBC CORRESPONDENT KELLY O'DONNELL: We've seen the president get a warm, sometimes over-the-top reaction here in Eastern Europewhere countries send troops to Iraq and also generally back the president. So he may not be all that anxious to get back to Washington."
I know. The first thing you thought was, "well, DUH!" Of course Keith Olbermann "overstates". He is a raving lunatic, for Heaven's sake. But, it took long enough for the left leaning MSM to catch on and Public Eye is gently -- and I DO mean gently -- trying to get their truthiest of truthers back on track, apparently. After all, they don't want to hurt his widdle feelings, or nuthin'.
Public Eye's Matthew Felling starts by buttering up Olby's fragile ego with an estimate on how much "media capital" he's "earned" with his show, but soon wonders why he went to far into tin-foil hat territory with his rant that Bush was really responsible for the recent JFK Airport terror plot.
Well, it didn't take long for the MSM to start their attacks on Fred Thompson now that he is in the race. We are seeing more and more of them each day. Here on Newsbusters, Mark Finkelstein was curious what the line of attack would be and I found a few this week myself. Today, we find the next MSM attack line of the day being Thompson's supposed "lack of experience" for the office. Or in the phrasing by Jennifer Rubin of the New York Observer; Thompson is "Like Reagan Without the New Ideas." And, since Thompson supporters are warm to the idea that Fred is "like Reagan" it seems likely the MSM will delight in trying to paint Thompson as a faux Reagan because they know that this particular line of attack would harm him the most were his supporters to begin to believe it.
Just get a load of Rubin's first Republican-slamming paragraph:
If this isn't the ultimate hypocrisy? Here we have new NBC Universal Entertainment Co-chairman Ben Silverman, a highly positioned member of the MSM, getting all huffy over the fact that an eeeevil "Blogger" leaked his important, behind the scenes company operations on the Internet. "I hate the blog world. ... It ends up interfering with people's lives," says the NBC kingpin.
This is hilarious for it's disconnectedness. The MSM doesn't seem to feel THEY are "interfering with people's lives" when they do stories that destroy people (hello Richard Jewell, falsely accused as being the "Centennial Park Olympics bomber" by the MSM -- or "Scooter" Libby for that matter. And let's not forget how the "entertainment" media dogged poor Anna Nicole Smith to her death... and after!). Nor do they worry much about the propriety of leaks of information where it concerns national security (hello New York Times' constant disclosure of National security info). None of those things seem to worry the MSM when it is they being the exposer rather than the exposed (hello Dan Rather and "60 Minutes").
NewsBusters reader Paul Farmer (NoMoreClintons) sent along the following this morning a guest blog submission. Farmer touched on the decidedly vague guidance that the Associated Press gives reporters on when to include a politician's party affiliation.
Farmer has an older AP Stylebook than I have (I have the 2006 edition), but the portion on "party affiliation" he excerpts from his is nearly a word-for-word match with mine.
So in light of AP's pattern of obscuring the party affiliation of the recently indicted Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) (as reported by NB's Lynn Davidson) and an initial lack of interest by some media in Jefferson's scandal (see this oldie but a goodie from 2005, the early days of NB), I'd thought I'd share Mr. Farmer's thoughts with you: