Is reporter Michael Powell at the New York Times auditioning for Comic Relief?
At next year's event, Powell's headline at his August 2 story (HT Weapons of Mass Discussion) about Obama's repeated hypocritical invocations and charges relating to race (of course, that's not how he sees it), along with his report's first 10 words, would bring the house down:
With Genie Out of Bottle, Obama Is Careful on Race
Senator Barack Obama is a man of few rhetorical stumbles .....
Only someone locked inside the Old Media bubble could possibly believe that Obama hasn't "stumbled" repeatedly, to the point where he's making Bush 41 Vice President Dan Quayle look like a certified genius.
Barack Obama is again unfairly throwing out the race card at an opponent. This week Obama was warning that his Republican opponents will assault him with racist attacks, but is dropping this warning even though no one has yet done so. On July 30th, Obama said at three different campaign stops in Missouri that McCain and his backers will attack him because he "doesn't look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills." This isn't the first time that Obama has thrown out the race card at opponents that clearly did not play it first themselves.
For all his own sly use of the race card and his warnings that opponents will use his race against him, Obama claims to stand against racism in this campaign. This is a noble stance to take, naturally. Like Obama, any upstanding American should oppose using race charged attacks in political campaigns. Yet, for all his moralizing on the subject, why is it that Obama is staying silent as members of his own party -- not to mention his own race -- in Tennessee use racial slurs to attack another member of his own party? And why is it that the national media has ignored this story? Perhaps its because the candidate being attacked, Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen, is not black but is Jewish? And perhaps its because his attackers are members of Tennessee's black religious community? And perhaps it is because the Congressional Black Caucus is funding Cohen's Democratic opponent, Nikki Tinker? And perhaps it is because Tinker is benefiting from this anti-Semitic attack against Cohen? Perhaps the media is hoping to hold out long enough for the issue to go away? And what of Obama?
Imagine if the principal of a Catholic school in the metro D.C. region was found guilty of failing to report an allegation of child sexual abuse. It'd be considered worthy of front page news for the Washington Post, at the very least a front pager for the paper's Metro section.
Yet reporting the conviction of Abdalla I. Al-Shabnan on July 31, the Post buried the story on the 6th page of the Metro section. Here's how staffer Tom Jackman opened his story:
The director general of a controversial private Islamic school in Fairfax County has been found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of failing to report child abuse and fined $500.
Abdalla I. Al-Shabnan, head of the Islamic Saudi Academy on Route 1 in the Mount Vernon area, was arrested last month by Fairfax police, who said Al-Shabnan had been informed of the possible sexual abuse of a 5-year-old student at the school. School authorities are required by law to report alleged child abuse within 72 hours.
"McCain Goes Negative, Worrying Some in G.O.P.," the New York Times fretted Wednesday in a headline over a story by reporter Michael Cooper. Times readers learned that while it's perfectly acceptable for the Times to call conservative Sen. Tom Coburn "Dr. No" in a front-page headline, it's bad for John McCain to call Barack Obama the same thing.
Cooper opened his story:
In recent days Senator John McCain has charged that Senator Barack Obama "would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign," tarred him as "Dr. No" on energy policy and run advertisements calling him responsible for high gas prices.
(The headline to Monday's front-page story about Sen. Tom Coburn: "Democrats Try to Break Grip Of the Senate's Flinty Dr. No.")
The Denver Post printed an article on July 30 highlighting the possible selection of Mitt Romney as a vice-presidential running mate with John McCain. While focusing on several obvious areas in which Romney may help the ticket, the Post simply couldn't resist a few subtle jabs directed at the former Massachusetts Governor.
Making a personal assessment that Romney sometimes comes off as being aloof, and citing his membership in a church that some consider a cult, was simply not enough. Reporter Karen E. Crummy (I will resist the puns) practically salivated at the prospect of using those observations as talking points for the Democratic Party. (Emphasis mine)
He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, considered a cult by some evangelical Christians and Southern Baptists. Despite his central-casting good looks, he often comes across as aloof. And he and McCain taunted each other in the primaries, which could be exploited by Democrats.
Just another demonstration of how the MSM would like to remind their readers that Romney's religion does in fact, matter.
Is it okay to vote against a candidate because of his race? The answer to the question is no. It is, in fact, the only acceptable answer. But I ask the question because it raises an important point about the media, the Democrats, and Barack Obama himself.
We are, each year, treated to national media reports on race relations in this country and they invariably discuss white America coming to terms with other races in this country. Very, very rarely does the media ever report on other races coming to terms with white America.
It is not really relevant, frankly, to point out that most black voters are going to vote in droves for Barack Obama. Regardless of his race, black voters would vote for the Democrat. But when you read about Congressman Steve Cohen's race in Tennessee's Ninth Congressional District, you really are confronted by both racism and anti-Semitism in a way we rarely think about in this country. And the media is silent. Barack Obama is silent.
Steve Cohen just might lose his re-election not because he has been ineffective in representing his district, but because he is white. And a number of black members of Congress are happy about that.
Does the media treat Democrats and Republicans differently when stories of their various peccadillos reach the Press? Well, in actuality, the question is essentially a moot point. There are stories today on the NewsBusters front page testifying to said bias. However, in Yahoo! News' choice of front-page stories today, we can see yet another example of this bias.
UPDATE: The original version of this item reported Joe Scarborough's statement, as transcribed below, that there were no Republicans on his MSNBC staff, with executive producer Chris Licht confirming Joe's assertion. Joe has been in touch to say he and Chris Licht were speaking tongue in cheek and that the remarks about there being no Republicans on the Morning Joe staff were a joke.
Mika Brzezinski is appalled to learn that the Bush Justice Department had a hiring preference for politically simpatico people. And Mika apparently believes Joe mischaracterizes her as a liberal.
The jumping off point on today's Morning Joe was Mika's reading of a news item on an article in today's New York Times about an internal Justice Department report concluding that "senior aides to former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales broke Civil Service laws by using politics to guide their hiring decisions." Scarborough saw this as SOP in Washington.
The networks suggest Obama is driving the narrative, but it's the liberal press themselves doing the driving for Obama
(Editor's Note: This essay originally appeared today in Human Events.)
Just Another Clown Delivering the News
The Big Three networks just foisted a week long Obamathon upon the American people, a political, "journalistic" perversion of Jerry Lewis's annual televised good deed.
Mr. Lewis raises money for a very worthy cause. CBS' Katie Couric, NBC's Brian Williams and ABC's Charlie Gibson attempted to raise the Presidential credibility of an inexperienced candidate by dutifully following Illinois Senator Barack Obama to the Middle East and Europe for six days and five nights of wall-to-wall slavish and adoring reporting.
This was an unprecedented media extravaganza. Never before have all three evening news anchors been drawn out of their chairs and all over the world together and on behalf of a candidate. Their coverage of Sen. Obama was as glitteringly positive as it was all-encompassing: the primary season without the Clinton distraction.
By week's end, the voters back here Stateside could well have forgotten that Senator Obama has an opponent.
Given how much grief charter schools and other creative initiatives get from the government-school establishment if they don't instantly turn at risk kids into Einsteins, along with the hounding of homeschoolers that seems to be on the rise, this story shouldn't be allowed to fall through the cracks, or remain confined to its local area.
Last Sunday's Rochester Democrat and Chronicle story (HT One News Now), which really should be read in full, would be humorous ("Kids Get Answers, Still Can't Pass") if it weren't for the fact that real children are clearly not getting educated. This systemic failure will affect them, and, to at least a slight degree, everyone reading this, for years to come (bolds are mine):
Vanity Fair magazine thought it amusing to have artist Tim Bower work up a mock magazine cover that lampoons the now-infamous satirical depiction of Sen. Barack Obama as a Muslim and his wife as a gun-slinging leftist radical (h/t Marc Ambinder). In Bower's cartoon, McCain clutches a walker while his wife waits with vials of prescription medicine. A George W. Bush portrait hangs above the fireplace in which the U.S. Constitution is ablaze. Hmm, sounds really familiar for some reason.
I'm not sure if its because leftists lack originality or Vanity Fair doesn't read West Coast publications, but the parody heavily cribs from Seattle Post-Intelligencer David Horsey's July 15 illustration.
The Columbia Journalism Review, not previously known as a Republican stronghold, sees liberal bias in the Times's rejection of an op-ed by John McCain supporting the war, a week after the paper ran an anti-war op-ed by his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama.
CJR contributor Lester Feder wrote of Deputy Editorial Page Editor David Shipley's rejection:
McCain partisans have decried the Times's decision -- and, if you read the two columns side by side, Shipley's justification does seem rather thin....Instead of making a statement about its judgment of McCain's leadership -- a judgment that it could defend on principle -- the Times has only reinforced its reputation on the right as a biased liberal broadsheet.
It is unclear what detailed "plans" sounded new to the Times when it accepted Barack Obama's July 14th submission.
MRC Director of Media Analysis and NewsBusters Senior Editor Tim Graham appeared on FNC's "Your World w/Neil Cavuto" earlier this evening. The topic: modern liberal campaign bias and how the public often goes against the media's favorites. [audio available here]
"Notice they're not attacking Obama, they're attacking Obama's biggest base of support," Graham noted of the latest John McCain Web videos about Sen. Obama, which lampoon the media's love affair with the Illinois Democrat.
You need "go back no further than four years ago" to find a similar political love affair that backfired, Graham added of the MSM's support of Sen. John Kerry in 2004.
Even so, this election cycle reminds Graham of Clinton '92, one occasion where the media's favorite won, even though he "barely skated by" to election, helped in part by a strong third-party ticket.
MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on Friday's "Hannity & Colmes" to talk about the media's eagerness to jump on the press plane and head to cover Barack Obama in Iraq. This despite the media's disinterest in covering John McCain's numerous foreign trips earlier this year. [audio available here]
"This is a press, the networks especially, that have gone into a complete swoon over Barack Obama," argued Bozell.
Earlier that day, Bozell appeared on "Fox & Friends" to discuss the same topic. Video of that can be found here.
For the MRC press release on the matter, click here (excerpt below):
Remember all that fuss about John McCain referring to Czechoslovakia, the European country that split up in 1993 into the Czech Republic and Slovakia? Supposedly, it was proof of his senility, rather than just an honest mistake.
Well it turns out McCain isn't the only one. Any takers on a bet the media won't report this?
Today's Chicago Tribune features "Left speechless?," by columnist Clarence Page. Page, who also serves on the Tribune's editorial board, writes:
Besides whispering to another guest on the set that he would like to de-sex the Democratic presidential candidate, Jackson also accused Obama of "talking down to black people . . . telling niggers how to behave."
Jackson has since issued two statements of apology for his self-described "trash talking." He also might issue this word of advice: If you want to whisper something that could be damaging if traced back to you, don't whisper it over a microphone.
Am I surprised by Jackson's use of the racial slur? Not really. I was more surprised to hear that so many other people are shocked, especially non-African Americans.
Ethnic etiquette has always given greater latitude to epithets expressed about one's own ethnic group, as long as they are expressed inside of one's ethnic group. That's how people talk within one's family or ethnic group, especially when you regard your ethnic group as affectionately as you regard your nuclear family.
But if we hold Jackson to a higher standard, it is because he has held us to one too.
You might think that a tidal wave of denunciation would ensue if a cartoon depicting John McCain being tortured in a bamboo cage by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and another person (who might be George W. Bush) were to appear in a supposedly respectable or trendy publication.
You might further think that giving McCain's three torturers stereotypically exaggerated Asian features would only further fuel the outrage.
Sorry to disappoint you, but the cartoon involved appeared last month in Rolling Stone. As far as I can tell, what you are about to see has produced not a single ripple of protest (HT Taxman Blog via tip from Weapons of Mass Discussion):
MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on today's "Fox & Friends" around 8:15 a.m. EDT. The topic: Barack Obama's biggest fans, the three network anchors, taking their bias on the road following the Illinois senator to Iraq. [audio available here]
If the networks were governed by the FDA, they would have recalled the word "news" from these guys.
The NewsBusters publisher went on to note that CBS devoted just 31 words to McCain's Iraq trip, and that McCain failed to get a traveling correspondent, much less an evening newscast anchor, to shadow him on his foreign trips:
After the firestorm that erupted Saturday over the Associated Press's classless story on the death of former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, I was hoping that the possibly-chastened wire service could get through its coverage of his funeral without getting in any gratuitous digs.
In that horrid Saturday story (blogged at NewsBusters and BizzyBlog), the AP's Douglass K. Daniel, with the assistance of longtime Bush basher Jennifer Loven, felt it necessary, within hours of Snow's passing, to characterize him as "not always (having) a command of the facts," questioning reporters' motives "as if he were starring in a TV show broadcast live from the West Wing," and turning his briefings into "personality-driven media event(s) short on facts and long on confrontation." In a further descent into tastelessness, they felt it necessary to tell us what Snow's salary at the White House was -- something I don't believe I have ever seen written in a story on anyone else's death. (11:00 a.m. update: See this comment below for an exception.)
Covering Snow's funeral Thursday, AP reporter Ben Feller stayed classy almost to the end. But then he apparently couldn't help himself, and followed the execrable example of his Saturday predecessors in his story's third-last paragraph.
MRC Director of Research and NewsBusters Senior Editor Rich Noyes appeared on the July 17 "Election HQ" program on Fox News Channel. Noyes appeared opposite liberal columnist Ellis Henican to discuss whether there was a double standard by the media in covering Sens. McCain and Obama and their foreign trips. [Audio available here.]
The Big Three network news anchors are planning on traveling to Iraq with Sen. Obama, whereas McCain's Iraq trip in March was all but ignored. For example, Noyes noted, Katie Couric gave John McCain's Iraq trip a grand total of 10 seconds of coverage on the "Evening News," and yet she and her competitors are all hopping the press plane for Obama's visit as though they were groupies following a rock star.
For background, read Kyle Drennen's July 17 blog post here. An excerpt of that blog follows:
While Thursday's New York Times reported that the anchors from all three network newscasts will be joining Barack Obama on his trip to Iraq, they showed no such interest in following John McCain during his visit to Iraq in March. During the week of March 16, McCain's trip received only four full-length stories during the combined ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news program coverage. Three of those stories were on NBC's "Nightly News," one of which focused on McCain's mistaken comment about Iran funding Al Qaeda in Iraq. ABC's "World News" did only one full-length story on McCain's Iraq trip, which mentioned the gaffe. The CBS "Evening News" was by far the worst, devoting only 31 words, a grand total of 10 seconds, to the Republican nominee's Iraq visit during the entire week of evening news coverage. Read Media Research Center press release here.
Do not say black and white Americans live in the same world or you will feel the wrath of Whoopi Goldberg. That is what Elisabeth Hasselbeck discovered on the July 17 edition of "The View." Upon suggesting that, Whoopi reduced Elisabeth to tears.
On the news of Jesse Jackson’s use of the "n" word, the conversation quickly developed into the double standard involved between a white and black person’s use of the word. Sherri Shepherd and Whoopi Goldberg admitted there is a double standard, but added there should be. Sherri Shepherd said she uses the word "as a term of endearment," but said to Barbara Walters "I don’t want to hear it coming out of your mouth."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck, puzzled by the obvious double standard, questioned how she can explain to her young daughter why she is not allowed to use that word, but other kids are, when she noted "we live in the same world," Whoopi went off on a tangent that blacks and whites do not live in the same world. Whoopi, who also dismissed Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s concerns as "very white," added Elisabeth just does not "understand."
GOLDBERG: We do live in different worlds. I’m sorry. I’m sorry it’s the way it is Elisabeth. This is the way it is. This is how I grew up. My mother could not go and vote in the United States of America, the place of her birth. We, go- wait, wait.
WALTERS: And don’t we want that to change?
GOLDBERG: Yes, we would like to. But you don’t understand.
We can debate the propriety of mentioning the name of banks that might be in financial trouble. But one thing appears clear to Chris Cuomo [file photo]: it would be wrong to mention the name of a Democrat who could be in hot water. Wouldn't want to cause a run on the Dem's political capital, after all. Cuomo's discretion was on display during today's Good Morning America. Anchoring in the absence of Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts, Cuomo was discussing the run on Indymac and the advisability of publicizing the names of other banks that might be in trouble with ABC financial consultant Mellody Hobson.
CHRIS CUOMO: People are so desperate in markets right now that negative information that allows them to short-sell or bet on banks not doing well is very popular.
MELLODY HOBSON: So I'm suspect about where the lists are coming from; the motives of some of the people putting the lists out here.
CUOMO: We saw the impact of panic not just on people but even in Congress, right? A senator gets up and says "I've heard something about a certain bank." It's in trouble the next day.
How insulated is the MSM? In how much of a liberal cocoon does it exist? For an answer, consider the vile cartoon displayed here. My guess is that the great majority of NewsBusters readers are familiar with it. But John Harwood—of the New York Times and CNBC—has never seen it.
That became clear on today's Morning Joe. The topic was the TV comedy world's double-standard, in which Republicans are regularly skewered but the laff factory suddenly shuts down when it comes to mocking Barack. A New York Times article on the matter was the jumping off point, and Joe Scarborough had a field day ridiculing lefty comedians' hypocrisy in piously claiming to "speak truth to power." The truth, said Scarborough, is that the comedians lay off Obama not because there's nothing funny about him, but because they're "in the tank" for the Dem candidate.
Towards the end of the segment came this stunning exchange:
Today on Neil Cavuto, Monica Showalter of Investor's Business Daily was on, speaking about their editorial on Nanny Pelosi called "Feckless to Reckless." It's about Nancy Pelosi's recent reckless call to drain the strategic oil reserves in an attempt to answer our problems and pains at the gas pumps, short term. Needless to say, IBD was not impressed; in fact, the article calls for her resignation. You can read about it and watch the video interview at MsUnderestimated's site here.
Liberal political cartoonist David Horsey defended the New Yorker's satire of the Obamas with his July 15 Seattle Post-Intelligencer drawing (shown at right, for a larger size check the P-I Web site here) while raising some left-wing tropes about the presumptive GOP nominee.
"For all the irony-challenged literalists who were upset by the New Yorker's Obama-as-a-Muslim magazine cover, here's one for you," reads the caption to the left of Horsey's cartoon depicting John and Cindy McCain as being lampooned on the cover of National Review.
When media personality Tim Russert, once a top adviser to leading Democratic officeholders in New York, died of a heart attack in June, editors at YouTube rightly paid tribute to him by promoting videos that celebrated his work and life.
They didn't extend the same courtesy to conservative journalist Tony Snow over the weekend. Instead, YouTube chose to mark Snow's passing by featuring a liberal rant that blamed Snow for "hundreds of thousands of deaths," including those of innocent children, because he briefly served as President Bush's spokesman.
The video was one of two promoted in YouTube's news and politics section after Snow died of cancer at age 53. The first clip, from an interview with White House counselor Ed Gillespie on CBS' "Face The Nation," gave Snow his much-deserved due as "one of the good guys."
But in an apparent and twisted attempt at balance, the second Snow-related clip that YouTube chose was headlined "Tony Snow Job." Here's how it began:
The media real estate rule: location, location, location
Liberal Scandals Strategically Located The Washington Post had two awful statements from Presidential campaign surrogates to work with last week. How it dealt with each of them is highly illustrative of how the media does its business.
Last Sunday evening the world was again made privy to the inner workings of the Reverend Jesse Jackson's mind, thanks to a moment of hot microphone pre-interview candor. Apparently, the Reverend Jackson is very, very angry with how Illinois Senator Barack Obama talks to black people, and with his pledge to up the ante on President George W. Bush's faith-based initiative. So perturbed is Jackson that he wishes to perform a certain ghastly procedure on the Senator, one that if executed on a sheep would be what a cowboy chef would say is the first step in the preparation of Rocky Mountain Oysters.
This is either a huge problem or a huge gift for the Illinois Senator. It is hardly good for a prominent Obama proxy to wish him castrated, worse still if he is so passionate about seeing it done that he is willing if not eager to do the job himself. On the other hand, it's a great opportunity for Obama to distance himself from the grievance-mongering Jackson and his ilk.
On Wednesday, Jackson officially retracted his desires to enter the eunuch-ing business, and on Thursday the Post delivered us the politically volatile goods like this (below the fold):
Specifically, Cheney's 2000 statement was that "we may well be on the front edge of a recession here," while Bush's 2001 claim was a milder "You know better than me that our economy is slowing down."
So what will be the reaction be to the Sunday assertion by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama that there's "little doubt" the country is in a recession, when no negative growth has occurred?
Look for Mika Brzezinski outside the Danish embassy. True, the Danes had nothing to do with the New Yorker's publication of the Obama cover. But what more time-honored locale to protest an irreverent cartoon of a figure adulated with religious fervor?
Mika has condemned the New Yorker cover as "dangerous." Why dangerous? Mika doesn't quite say. But by darkly musing about unspoken perils that derive from the mocking of Obama, she would apparently place irony about her candidate off limits. Mika sounded the alarm on today's Morning Joe.