Wedge issues, those subjects on which basically everyone has an opinion and those opinions are hard and fast, are generally something most politicians try to avoid if at all possible. Usually, it's because their party base takes a very strong stand on a subject that most Americans disagree with in part or in whole. If used properly, wedge issues can be used to separate a politician from the general public.
For Republicans the wedge issues tend to be abortion, creationism, and racial politics. Democrats have these issues too, however the left-dominated media almost never focus on them as Ace writes:
The media loves close questioning about abortion. And Bob
Jones University. And the Confederate flag. And etc., and etc., and
etc. -- every issue that cuts against Republicans, where the wedge
divides base from center, always gets an enormous amount of attention from the Washington press corps.
And what about Democrats' wedge issues? Not only does the media
refuse to ask such questions, except in the easiest softball way --
allowing candidates to give their carefully-vetted focus-group-tested
non-answers without having to survive the scrutiny of a follow-up --
the media is often insistent that even asking such questions is "divisive" and therefore unethical, if not unAmerican.
Despite its huffy, self-righteous editorial page, the New York Times never has been anywhere close to a paragon of moral consistency. The latest example of the Grey Lady's hypocrisy is on the subject of data-mining, a subject which the editorial side of the paper repeatedly condemned last year. Data-mining is basically a fancy way of compiling user data in an advanced manner. According to the Times, data-mining is wrong when it is done to help fight terrorism. When it's done to fatten the wallets of fatcat liberal newspaper execs then it's ok.
Barely a year after their reporters won a Pulitzer prize for exposing
data mining of ordinary citizens by a government spy agency, New York
Times officials had some exciting news for stockholders last week: The
Times company plans to do its own data mining of ordinary citizens, in
the name of online profits.
With Rosie O’Donnell’s announced departure of "The View" other networks such as NBC and CBS are apparently interested in the very controversial comedienne. Broadcastingcable.com reports that Rosie may offer commentary on "The Early Show" in an effort to boost its third place ratings.
"Sources say O'Donnell will meet with CBS brass soon to discuss its offer, which could open the door to regular guest appearances on The Early Show. Her views have generated the type of buzz that could allow CBS to finally lift the perennial third-place program out of the morning-show cellar."
After stating on the air
that the death of a conservative talk show host's mother in a tragic fire
was "the vengeance of God", you would think that liberal talker Michael
McGee would be apologizing in an attempt to keep his job.
He has merely stepped up his ridiculous attacks. In his recent followup interview with the local Fox 6 news, he compared Charlie Sykes to Satan and Hitler and then said
the only thing that he regretted was that “his stringy haired ho son
wasn’t layin’ there with her” when Katherine Sykes died in a tragic
Yahoo picked up a fluff AP article that distorted Democratic NJ Governor Jim McGreevey’s 2004 resignation. It perpetuated the success of what should have been a politician’s attempt to cover allegations of corruption by using his closeted sexuality to distract an incurious and complicit media. This puff piece kept alive McGreevey’s pattern of announcing something socially startling to draw attention away from the incredible graft, scandal and alleged sexual harassment that would have otherwise defined his administration. When threats to McGreevey's reputation arise, he uses his status as a gay man to deflect unwanted attention, and the AP went along with it by reporting this latest “shocker” and omitting his political affiliation while identifying his opponents’ party (emphasis mine throughout):
Jim McGreevey has gone from altar boy to mayor to the nation's first openly gay governor.
From the moment he stood at a podium in 2004 and announced he was a "gay American" who was resigning because of an affair with a male staffer, people wondered what McGreevey's next act would be.
Now we know: He wants to become a preacher and a teacher.
Directly following the tragic death of Katherine Sykes, the mother of the Wisconsin conservative radio talk show host and blogger Charlie Sykes, liberal talk show host Micheal McGee, Sr. has come out with this statement, live on his radio show (via Channel 12):
“Mother Sykes, she dead. To me it’s the vengeance of God. I ain’t got
no tears. Matter of fact a woman that would have a fool like that
deserve whatever is coming her. She raised a sure enough idiot,” McGee
said on his radio show. “My instincts say Charlie Sykes killed his
momma, cuz she live out in this big palace in Mequon all isolated. He
got tired of waiting for her money.”
Where is the outrage? Only one small local media outlet, Channel 12, and a number of blogs (Badger Blogger, Marquette Warrior, Michelle Malkin and Gop3.com) have covered it. If this story was reversed, and a conservative said this about McGee's mother, the entire national media along with Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be on the scene. The article on Channel 12 has indicated that McGee's next show will not air but subsequent shows are not in jeopardy yet. Without public outcry, this type of double standard will continue.
When a lie makes it into print once, it's happenstance. A mere accident, no doubt, due to a lapse of judgment in editing the news feed. What, then, is it called when a lie is repeated countless times without apology?
Apparently, it's called "businessasusual" for the media.
Whenever a funeral is presented by photographers embedded in the Palestinian territories, we're faced with dozens of photographs of crowds of weeping, screaming, shouting people parading around in the streets. We're also inevitably presented with a caption describing how the Israeli occupiers are responsible for the deaths, and how Israel is pouring out suffering all over the innocent, helpless Palestinian people.
While these photos always make for a powerful statement, and are picked up by news organizations worldwide for their raw emotional appeal, the information presented along with them isn't always what it appears at first glance to be.
Over the past few days, Gates of Vienna discussed a very troubling story about Finnish blogger Mikko Ellila, “who has been summoned by the police for a hearing next week, all because of the content of his blog posts.” Mikko posts in Finnish but contacted several people in English about this, such as the Australian blogger Prodos, who owns the site that hosts the potentially criminal blog. Mikko explained to Prodos why he is going to be questioned by Finnish police:
According to the letter, I am suspected of “hate speech” merely because I have pointed out that Islam is a fascist ideology that advocates killing Jews, atheists, homosexuals etc.
Fellow Finnish blogger Vasarahammer explained more about Mikko's problem:
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is involved in a scandal that so far the media has completely ignored. David Keene reports:
Anyone who knows much about real power in Congress knows that almost
every member of the House and Senate lusts after a seat on the
Appropriations Committee and hopes one day to achieve the status of
Cardinal. The Cardinals, of course, are the folks who chair the various
Appropriations Committee subcommittees and literally control the
billions of dollars that pass through their hands.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) chairs the Senate Rules
Committee, but she’s also a Cardinal. She is currently chairwoman of
the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies subcommittee, but until
last year was for six years the top Democrat on the Military
Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (or “Milcon”)
sub-committee, where she may have directed more than $1 billion to
companies controlled by her husband.
If the inferences finally
coming out about what she did while on Milcon prove true, she may be on
the way to morphing from a respected senior Democrat into another
poster child for congressional corruption.
It always amazes when the MSM congeals an entire presidential administration into a form that posits that every member of that administration is the president. Like when they claim that "Bush Lied" about the faulty intelligence that led to the presentation to the UN to garner support for the action in Iraq given by then Secretary of State Colin Powell. Yet, when the MSM wants to exonerate a single member of any particular administration, suddenly the President is forgotten as a part of the discussion and the individual administration official the press is currently in love with is held as a man responsible for his own decisions and exonerated on that basis.
This week's new media darling is former CIA chief George Tenet, one of the worst directors of the CIA we've seen in decades. The MSM have suddenly found him to be an honorable and serious man because of his newly published Bush bashing tell-all.
NBC's Today show loves to promote former administration officials with scathing tell-alls, so long as they're criticizing a Republican president. Tom Brokaw's prodding of George Tenet to criticize the Bush administration's path to war was just the latest example of Today show's love of former GOP administration officials with an ax to grind.
Back in 2004, then Today co-host Katie Couric praised former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's book for its critiques of President George W. Bush. However if the tell-all slights a Democratic administration, as George Stephanopolous did with his book, Today takes a decidedly more skeptical tone. Of his 1999 tome, All Too Human, Couric called Stephanopolous' revelations "creepy" and wondered if he was "a turncoat."
There is another scandal in the making concerning a Democratic presidential candidate’s blog. Longshot candidate Mike Gravel has a BIG problem. On his website, he proudly quoted and linked to a site which posted some online support of Gravel, excitedly announcing, “Meet the next president of the United States of America.” The site is called “Wake Up from Your Slumber.” Sounds nice and netrooty—very energizing and MoveOn-ish. Well, not exactly. It appears to be an anti-Semitic, conspiracy hate site.
Anyway, why do I think this? Well, it declares the Iranian president, Mahmoud “Death to Israel” Ahmadinejad is “The Man, The Legend” in a post that linked to a video of him denying the Holocaust. The post was titled, “Ahmadinejad: Zionists are NOT Jews” and quoted the Iranian president's speech about “Zionists” and, of course, world domination:
Harry Smith, who has a habit of double standards when conducting interviews, hammered returning White House press secretary Tony Snow on April 30's edition of The Early Show. After discussing Snow’s cancer treatment, Smith said "let’s go to work." Snow stated what many believe, that incorporated timetables are a stunt. An astonished Harry Smith interrupted and harshly inquired: "So the White House regards this, their, their insistence on troop withdrawals as a stunt?"
Snow, who previously accused Harry Smith of sounding like a partisan, immediately backpedaled, but pointed out that the current bill is "something [the Democrats] knew was never going to get passed." After Snow mentioned that Democrats "exhausted nearly three months doing this," Smith retorted "with the support of the American people by the way." Although it is true that, according to CBS’s own poll, 64 percent of Americans do support a timetable for withdrawal, they also found when they asked if Congress should allow continued troop funding without a timetable if it comes to that, 56 percent said yes. Harry never mentioned that polling result.
Assume for a moment that a prominent Republican’s uncle that happened to be a former state senator was convicted of accepting bribes. Do you think:
This would have been headline/front-page news
The family relationship would have been in the lede and/or headline
His party affiliation would have been in the lede and/or headline?
Well, on Friday, the uncle of former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. (D), former Tennessee State Sen. John Ford (D), was convicted of accepting bribes totaling $55,000. Yet, many media outlets buried the connection to his much more popular nephew, as well as the fact that he was a Democrat.
For instance, this is how the New York Times handled the story Saturday coincidentally on page A14 (h/t NB reader Joe Easley):
The left, always quick to defend free speech and independence whenever it involves bashing America seems to have a problem with that sort of American right the minute it veers off the reservation of approved topics. "No war for oil", "Bushitler", "9/11 conspiracy", "the war is lost", "sheesh", these are all approved phrases; use them freely and liberally, 10 points if you can work one of them into everyday conversation.
New York Times political reporter Adam Nagourney is typically hyper-sensitive to any hint of a Republican "attack" on a Democrat (not so much the other way around). So it was refreshing to read him actually having a little fun needling Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday as "The Breck Girl" for his preening over his hair and looks when he thinks he's off-camera (most notoriously in a widely seen YouTube video set to "I Feel Pretty")
Nagourney on Friday wrote about the mini-flap over Edwards' two $400 haircuts and brought up the YouTube video while suggesting a perception of hypocrisy.
"John Edwards, the North Carolina Democrat, announced on Thursday that he was reimbursing his campaign $800 to cover what his aides said was the cost of two haircuts -- yes, you read that correctly -- by a Beverly Hills barber, though, perhaps, the word stylist is more applicable….Mr. Edwards has presented himself in the Democratic field as an advocate of working-class Americans, lamenting the nation’s growing economic disparity."
Barbara Walters used to have a reputation as a serious journalist. That was before the bull-in-the-china-shop that is Rosie O'Donnell came bellowing into her life. Could Walters finnaly have reached her last straw with O'Donnell, though? If rumors of Rosie leaving the daytime TV talker "The View" after a blue and vulgar performance at an award ceremony for teen girls in New York is any indication, we might soon be seeing the end of the wild-eyed, late morning rants of this uninformed wind-bag, O'Donnell.
The New York Post reported on the 24th that Barbara "lowered her head on the dais and covered her face with her hand" as Rosie spoke. During her now boring schtick, Rosie unleashed the "F" word and a slew of vulgar sexual references as she spoke before the collected elite of the female movers and shakers of the news biz as well as a bevy of teen-aged girls who were on hand to receive awards for their own efforts to enter the field of communications.
The left-wing press is notorious for its hypocrisy and double-standards, especially when it comes to itself. No news organization is a bigger case in point than the New York Times, the so-called paper of record which touts itself as holding the Bush administration accountable, all the while engaging in unprofessional and unethical behavior and never being held accountable for it.
Well today, some accountability came.
Investors in the New York Times have been outraged as the paper continues to lose market share and bleed money faster than Rosie O'Donnell at a hamburger stand. This has been going on for years and nothing's been done to stop it, in part because the people who own most of the Times stock actually have no control as to who runs the company since their shares can't vote on a majority of the board of directors. That position is reserved for the uber-leftist Sulzberger family (headed by Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr.) who has been running the paper into the ground financially and off a cliff when it comes to bias, all the while stuffing its own pockets.
Fed-up investors finally had enough. Earlier today, they gave the Times a loud vote of no confidence by refusing to vote at all for the small number of director seats that they can vote on:
Two figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Al Sharpton, were recently targeted with a death threat, but the media treated them very differently. An article by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that when the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown booked Hirsi Ali to speak, along with other Islamic leaders, a Johnstown Imam “tried to block" her from speaking and thinks she should be put to death. Other than the Pittsburgh article, the only news coverage of this was local. Here's a group of men who tried to prevent a woman from speaking and advocated her death, and even in a world hyper-aware of violence against women, the rest of the media ignored the situation and statements like this (emphasis mine throughout):
Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, was among those who objected to Hirsi Ali's appearance.
"She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death," said ElBayly, who came to the U.S. from Egypt in 1976.
A few sources, not the least of which is Michael Barone, are reporting that the Democrats are ignoring important Iraq briefings conducted by General David Petraeus in an apparent effort to stymie efforts in Iraq. It is well known that they are not supportive of the troops in Iraq and the president's "surge" plan they are currently conducting, but whether they like the plan or not, to skip these briefings is an act of blatant negligence that borders on the criminal. So where is the MSM's outrage? Why are we not being told of this Democrat negligence?
Poll fixation by the media has been a frequent topic of discussion for conservatives as the press have focused ad nauseum on the falling approval numbers of President Bush the past couple of years.
With that in mind, will the press show equal interest in a study just released by the Gallup Organization identifying Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating plummeting an astounding thirteen percentage points in two months to one of its lowest levels since 1993?
Given the truly shocking results reported on Wednesday, one could easily envision this being the lead story for network evening news programs if the data was about one of the Republican presidential frontrunners, and if not for the massacre at Virginia Tech (emphasis added throughout):
As liberals in the media call for the firing of well-known conservative radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh in the wake of the Don Imus controversy, none seems willing to turn the politically correct microscope on those espousing views from the left.
With that in mind, Lisa De Pasquale, Conservative Political Action Conference director for the American Conservative Union, published an article at Human Events Tuesday wonderfully illustrating the obvious double standard between what liberal media members can say or write versus their colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
The target of De Pasquale’s disaffection was the blogger formerly known as “Wonkette,” Time.com’s Ana Marie Cox (emphasis added throughout):
What happened at Virginia Tech today is not a "tragedy" in the way that tragedy is usually defined as being a sudden accident. No, it was a cold-blooded crime. But, the criminal action at Virginia Tech had barely finished before news sources began their meme against guns, those "permissive laws" controlling them and the "easy access" to them. All are common phrases used to attack gun rights and this incident is being used as a platform to launch that line of attack everywhere. It's as if, before the last victim was even cold, every anti-gun advocate in the country hurriedly warmed up their cars to race to their local media source to call for more gun control. The debate over this issue is perfectly reasonable, of course, but that the MSM would use this crime as a springboard for their attacks on guns so soon after this incident had been perpetrated smacks of political opportunism.
CBS News gives us the claim that it is "much too easy to get guns in the state of Virginia." And they assure us this crime happened because "there's no gun registration, no mandatory waiting period to purchase weapons. The only major restriction: a limit of one gun purchase per month." And, the CBS report is echoed all across the news media.
In the midst of the Don Imus/Rutgers women’s basketball team controversy, one would think that calling a woman a prostitute, or any similar epithet on the air, would be so inexcusable that it would meet with extraordinary media outrage.
After all, if you did a Google news search of the name Don Imus, it would generate almost 15,000 stories about the controversial radio host. The phrase "Nappy-headed hos" garnered almost 10,000 results.
Yet, when the New Black Panther Party leader Malik Shabazz called Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin a “political prostitute” on Thursday’s “O’Reilly Factor,” the media largely ignored the event. In fact, a Google news search of his name identified that only one major media outlet reported this outrageous comment, albeit at the USA Today Online Politics blog.
Regardless of the double standard, here is the disgraceful segment of this interview which coincidentally occurred within hours of Imus being fired by CBS Radio for his comments (video available here, h/t Hot Air):
For the last few weeks I have been watching two stories that, were they about Conservatives or Republicans, would have been scandals that would have shaken the rafters of the MSM. But, since these stories are about two favored Liberals, one old and one newly minted, we have seen no faux outrage, no shocked commentary, no calls for heads on pikes to be posted at the entrance to Congress, and no calls for resignations. Oh, the stories were reported all right, but all sensationalism was eschewed with the usual extrapolation to the level of a “culture of corruption” cast aside for a straight, newsy style atypical to their normal means against Republicans.
These two stories and the lack of passionate coverage of them by the MSM shows that the MSM employs as much liberal bias in what they chose not to cover as they do in what they chose to go ahead and focus upon.
This is waaaaay too funny, folks, and requires all combustibles, potables, and sharp objects to be properly stowed before proceeding.
In response to the recent brouhaha concerning Don Imus and the Rutgers women’s basketball team, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has called on “conservatives to use the available media (radio talk shows, blogs, letters to the editor) to protest and demand that Rosie O’Donnell be kicked off The View.”
They didn’t call him “The Hammer” for nothing, folks.
In a piece posted at his blog Wednesday – obviously before CBS radio decided to fire Imus – and deliciously titled “If the Left takes Imus, We’ll take Rosie,” DeLay described this deplorable event in a way that only he could whilst issuing a reciprocal call to arms:
Touchy, touchy! Diane Sawyer is in the business of dishing out tough questions and challenging people's answers. But when a guest on today's "Good Morning America" politely corrected her on a First Amendment matter, the GMA host was quick to accuse him of "attacking" her.
Los Angeles-based radio talk show host Larry Elder was Diane's guest, in to discuss the Imus matter. Sawyer introduced him as a "conservative radio host" though on his own site Elder describes himself as a "libertarian" and "a blend of fiscal conservative and social liberal." Of course we all know how many times the MSM has described Al Sharpton as a "liberal" in the course of his innumerable appearances over the last week or so: that would be precisely zero, at last count.
Elder opined that Imus' punishment did not fit the crime. Imus' comment was offensive, sexist and racist, said Elder, "but he apologized, apologized again, did the obligatory beatdown tour à la Michael Richards by appearing on the Al Sharpton show, and as far as I'm concerned, that should have been enough. In the grand department store of life, Don Imus operates in the toy section and I think that those remarks should have been taken with some perspective, but they weren't."
The April 10 London Daily Mail dares to say what others have not. Instead of a trendy story about green celebs, reporter Richard Simpson revealed an Inconvenient Truth; many of the musicians participating in Al Gore’s upcoming Live Earth concerts are major eco-offenders themselves:
The stars of a major Live 8-style concert to raise awareness of climate change have been condemned as hypocrites for failing to lead environmentally friendly lives themselves.
The likes of Madonna and Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform at Live Earth at Wembley Stadium on July 7, yet campaigners say they are among the least "green" individuals on the planet.
One positive result of the Don Imus imbroglio is a renewed focus on degrading, obscene, sexist, violence-endorsing rap music. Brent Bozell's entertainment columns offer a road map for anyone seeking a refresher course on nasty rap-music controversies over the last four years. Don't miss how media people (like, oops, NBC's Matt Lauer) make excuses for rappers:
In raising her two daughters, [Washington Post writer Lonnae O'Neal] Parker had one very definitive image in mind capturing what’s wrong with today’s dominant trend in hip hop. At the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, rappers Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent added pomp to the song "P.I.M.P." by featuring black women on leashes being walked onstage. This past August, she added, MTV-2 aired an episode of the cartoon "Where My Dogs At," which had Snoop Dogg again leading two black bikini-clad women around on leashes. She explained: "They squatted on their hands and knees, scratched themselves and defecated. The president of the network, a black woman, defended this as satire."