Especially on Martin Luther King Day, it seems worth asking whether or not the assassinated civil rights leaders would have cared more about:
Whether a talk radio host told his audience, in reference to the No Child Left Behind Act causing many school districts, including the Toledo Public Schools (TPS), to believe they must "teach to the test" to avoid serious sanctions: "teaching little monkeys to peel bananas and so on and then doing it correctly on cue, does not mean that they’ve learned everything except a funny parlor trick."
The fact that TPS is rated dead-last in its metro area, and failed to meet state test-result requirements in 21 of 24 testing categories in the 2009-2010 academic year. The worst examples: In the eighth grade, only 39.0% and 34.3% of TPS students tested as proficient in math and science, respectively. According to Toledo-area blogger and sometime WSPD host Maggie Thurber, the District is also "facing a $38 million deficit and ... 58% of voters said no to their last levy request."
I think it's safe to say that King would have preferred that attention stay focused on dealing with Toledo's schools, and for that matter Ohio's schools in general, as according to the just referenced Ohio Department of Education (ODE) report card, TPS actually outperformed (actually, "less underperformed") "similar districts" in the Buckeye State in 15 of those 24 categories.
But that must not be how the Toledo Blade sees it. The far left Blade, which in distant-past editorials regaled readers with its indispensable importance as a Glass City civic institution and has been in a figurative war with local talk station WSPD for years, clearly thought it saw an opening when host Brian Wilson said the following on January 7:
For the second time in less than 24 hours, ABC identified Michael Reagan as a "conservative," but failed to identify the left-wing ideology of Ron Reagan Jr. Monday's Good Morning America played up the "clash" between the adopted son Michael and Ron, author of a new book that claims his father, the 40th president, had Alzheimer's during his time in the White House.
Correspondent Claire Shipman explained, "It's another feud in an often fractious family. In a series of tweets over the weekend, Michael Reagan, the former President's son and a conservative commentator, accused his stepbrother Ron of trying to sell out his father to sell books."
As the MRC's Brent Baker pointed out, Ron Reagan Jr. previously hosted a show on the left-wing MSNBC and now appears on the network to provide liberal commentary. On Sunday's World News, reporter David Muir also identified the politics of Michael, but not Ron Reagan.
The New York Times simply can’t help themselves. They simply cannot leave their opinions out of supposedly objective pieces of journalism. Which begs the question, if the bulk of the articles contain this type of reporting, why does the Times even bother having a separate opinion section?
In a profile piece on Tucson gunman Jared Loughner titled, Looking Behind the Mug-Shot Grin of an Accused Killer, the Times takes two separate occasions to toss in a casual link to ‘right-wing groups’ (h/t Byron York).
The first cheap shot shows up on the first page of a seven page profile:
He became an echo chamber for stray ideas, amplifying, for example, certain grandiose tenets of a number of extremist right-wing groups — including the need for a new money system and the government’s mind-manipulation of the masses through language.
The second instance addresses the currency issue and casts blame on the right as well :
On Wednesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), in commenting on USA Today's poor decision to quote a paragraph from a New York Times op-ed by former Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) -- a bad decision because Kanjorski's call for "civility" directly contrasts with his call for someone to shoot Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott just a few months ago -- I wrote that USAT Founder Al Neuharth's "'civility' credentials are also suspect."
Two days later, Neuharth, who claims to be "independent," more than justified those suspicions. In a "Plain Talk" item in Friday's paper ("Who shares blame in Tucson tragedy?"), Neuharth blamed a wide range of people for Jared Loughner's actions. "Somehow," he forgot to blame Jared Laughner. It's not a stretch to assert that many readers would be justified in believing that Neuharth may not even want to see Loughner convicted of a crime.
Neuharth took shots at talkers on the right and left. USAT published an absolutely laughable counter-response from MSNBC President Phil Griffin. The other response (from the right? Are you kidding?) was from a psychiatry prof.
Here is Neuharth's piece and its responses (published in their entirety because of their relative brevity; bolds are mine):
"Rush Limbaugh needs to choke to death on his own fat," deranged left-wing radio show host Mike Malloy hissed on his February 18, 2009 program.
Michele Bachmann should "slit [her] wrist!" Montel Williams told his Air America radio show audience in September 2009.
"We ought to rip [Dick Cheney's heart] out and kick it around and stuff it back in him," MSNBC's Ed Schultz blustered on his February 24, 2010 radio program.
Those are just three examples of left-wing hate that the mainstream media haven't denounced while accusing conservatives like Sarah Palin of engendering violence in the wake of the Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shooting.
"Have you ever heard any reporter... denounce these examples?" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell asked Fox News' Sean Hannity after watching the montage during last night's "Media Mash" segment on "Hannity."
[For the full segment, watch the video below the page break or listen to the MP3 audio here.]
Jack Cafferty's Palin Derangement Syndrome reached a new level on Thursday's Situation Room on CNN, as he attacked the Republican for her reply to those who tried to tie her to the Arizona shootings: "It was just awful, defiant, [and] inflammatory." Cafferty also ripped Palin for using the "blood libel" phrase and stated that the reply would "effectively end her chance of ever being elected president."
The commentator devoted his 5 pm Eastern hour Cafferty File segment to his rant against his perennial nemesis: "Sarah Palin may have done herself in this time. The tragedy in Tucson presented an opportunity for Palin to reach beyond her base and to strike a note of unity, to say something that showed she's capable of true leadership." After noting that "there was a good deal of sympathy for her. A lot of people thought it was wrong to drag her into the debate to begin with," Cafferty struck hard at the former Alaska governor for having the audacity to answer the latest charges against her:
CAFFERTY: But then she spoke, and it was just awful. Defiant, inflammatory, Palin invoked the historically painful term, 'blood libel,' in attacking the media. This is a phrase used hundreds of years ago to describe anti-Semitic myths about how Jews killed children and then used their blood in religious ritual. NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell suggested the use of the phrase 'blood libel' was 'ignorant.' It was. A CBS analysis suggested Sarah Palin played 'the victim card.' She did. And ABC said Palin- quote, 'once again, has found a way to become part of the story,' unquote- true.
It's not too difficult to determine where the sympathy of the Associated Press's Christopher Wills resides in the aftermath of the Democrat-controlled legislature's passage in Illinois of steep, "temporary" four-year income and corporate tax increases.
Wills cited neighboring states as "gleefully plot(ting)" to take business away from Illinois, claimed that the Illinois move "resolve(d)" its budget crisis (that remains to be seen), and asserted that "economic experts scoffed" at the idea that significant out-of-state business migration might occur. Oh, and he found one business threatening to leave not Illinois, but Wisconsin, because the Badger State's governor wouldn't accept deficit-generating light-rail money from Uncle Sam.
Here are the relevant paragraphs from Wills's report ("Neighboring states gleeful over Ill. tax increase"; bolds are mine):
CNN indicated its sympathy for gun control on Tuesday with two segments on The Situation Room where sound bites from gun control supporters outnumbered gun rights supporters by a three-to-one margin. During the first report, correspondent Dana Bash stated that Senator Patrick Leahy "supports gun rights," even though the Democrat actually has the opposite record on the issue.
The previous evening, during the 9 pm Eastern hour of Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, the network's senior political analyst, David Gergen, indicated that he supported stricter gun control, in the wake of the attempted assassination on Representative Gabrielle Giffords, during a segment with Tea Party activist Dana Loesch.
GERGEN: ...How is it possible that someone who is this unhinged, when so many people understood that he was in mental deterioration, that he could still walk into a gun store and buy- you know, 9 mm semiautomatic Glock handgun, and also, then carry it concealed? I mean that's- if there's some cultural insanity here, it is the fact that we haven't put a stop to the capacity of these deranged young people to buy guns and then spray at people. It's just unbelievable.
Today's Washington Post all but painted Tea Party conservatives in the Tar Heel State as racists opposed to racial integration and diversity in Raleigh-area schools.
In truth the Wake County, North Carolina, school board is simply moving to reverse decades of busing that shuttled some students to schools farther away from their homes in an effort to artificially engineer the socioeconomic and racial diversity of the county's individual schools.
Jared Loughner was in no way a conservative or inspired by alleged conservative talk show "hate," yet the media have been quick to blame conservative talk radio and Sarah Palin for his assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona), all in an effort to delegitimize and demonize the conservative movement.
This stands in stark contrast to how the media have been silent on the real political motivations of crazed left-wingers, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell noted on the January 11 "700 Club."
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin falsely claimed on Tuesday's Parker-Spitzer that Barack Obama is "against gun control." Toobin also seemed to lament that the conservative position on the Second Amendment has become the "conventional wisdom" in politics: "This is how much gun control has fallen off the map politically- that the idea that more guns will mean more protection is widely believed" [audio available here].
The senior legal analyst for the liberal network appeared during a segment at the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour to "break down some of the legal issues" related to the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Host Kathleen Parker first asked Toobin about the interview of gun rights advocate Alan Korwin in the previous segment: "You just heard us interview this pro-gun fellow out in Arizona. Are we all going to be safer if we're all packing heat?"
The liberal talking head launched into his take on gun politics:
CNN International's Zain Verjee on Monday's Newsroom highlighted The Guardian's left-wing talking point that the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabby Giffords "points to the rise of political extremism in the United States." Verjee also bizarrely played up a post from al-Jazeera's website which speculated whether the U.S. would blame Islam for the shootings in Arizona [audio available here].
Anchor Kyra Phillips brought on the CNN International anchor 53 minutes into the 9 am Eastern hour to report on international reactions to the violence, and asked, "So, what are the headlines there, starting in Great Britain, Zain?"
Verjee launched right into The Guardian's headline as she held up a copy of the newspaper:
"I know how the "tea party' people feel, the anger, venom and bile that many of them showed during the recent House vote on health-care reform. I know because I want to spit on them, take one of their 'Obama Plan White Slavery' signs and knock every racist and homophobic tooth out of their Cro-Magnon heads."
Now that there's a tragedy to be exploited, Milloy today jumped aboard the media's bash-conservatives-for-coarsening-American-political-discussion bandwagon.
In doing so, Milloy didn't disappoint, turning up the nuttiness knob to 11 with his anti-conservative screed, comparing House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other conservative Republicans to bloodthirsty gangbangers who inspire violence without having to explicitly authorize it:
"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story" must be the motto at Reuters, or at least of the wire service's Richard Cowan, three other contributors, and Editor Jackie Frank.
Cowan's late Sunday afternoon dispatch (HT to an e-mailer) is caricature-driven collection of cliches, half-truth, outright myths, and totally predictable oversights. There's the racial slurs before the heath care vote fabrication. There's an attempt to declare Sarah Palin unfit for the presidency.
And of course, there's the deliberately avoided recall of rhetoric from President Obama (here and here, for warm-ups) that could certainly be interpreted by unstable people as a call to violence, as well as total omission of the left's anger just days ago over Gabrielle Giffords's refusal to back Nancy Pelosi as Minority Leader and the leftist inclinations of deeply troubled accused murderer Jared Lee Loughner.
But that stuff's not important when there are disliked right-wingers to pile onto while the piling-on opportunity is there:
A recurring feature in the Washington Post's weekly Outlook section is a column devoted to "Five myths about" a particular topic.
The feature for January 9 -- "5 myths about why the South seceded" -- happened to address a timely historical topic considering this year marks the sesquicentennial of the beginning of the U.S. Civil War.
Yet the author, sociologist James W. Loewen, couldn't resist the opportunity to lump modern-day Republicans and conservatives with non-slaveholding whites in the antebellum South who may have aspired to slaveholding.
Addressing the myth that "Most white Southerners didn't own slaves, so they wouldn't secede for slavery," Loewen argued that:
The irresponsible propagandists posing as journalists at the Associated Press are going to a frequently visited well tonight -- the one where any violence committed against a Democrat or liberal must somehow and in some way be due to a climate of hostility created solely by conservatives, Republicans, and more recently, Tea Party activists.
Never mind that the person who allegedly shot Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and murdered several others, Jared Loughner, is reportedly a marijuana-using loner who lists the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf as among his favorite books, or that the most recent items which could bee seen as potential incitements to violence against Giffords have come from the left, in response to her refusal to back Nancy Pelosi for Minority Leader in the House just days ago (roll call vote here).
Friday's CBS Early Show praised the pick of former Commerce Secretary William Daley as the new chief of staff for the Obama White House, with senior White House correspondent Bill Plante proclaiming: "While Daley has long ties to the Democratic Party, he's viewed as a centrist whose Wall Street connections should help him with the newly divided Congress."
Following Plante's report, co-host Erica Hill got reaction from former George W. Bush adviser Dan Bartlett and wondered: "As you look at this appointment of Bill Daley....coming over from Chase, he sits on a number of corporate boards. Is the message from the White House essentially not only that the White House is open for, but also open to, business this morning?" Bartlett replied: "I really think that is the clear message. If you take this, coupled with the tax compromise they made at the end of last year, it is sending an important signal."
On Thursday's Parker-Spitzer, CNN's Eliot Spitzer lashed out at President Obama from the left, going so far as to accuse him of forfeiting his campaign promises, simultaneously attacking the Tea Party movement in the process: "He...let the Tea Party- one of the most vapid, puerile groups out there, without meaningful ideas- take over those voices for transformation, and now, he is embracing their agenda."
Spitzer led the 8 pm Eastern hour with his critique of Obama naming William Daley to be his next White House chief of staff: "You know, I don't think anybody is going to view Bill Daley as the enemy. I think everybody agrees that Bill Daley is an honorable guy...The problem I have with this is that Bill Daley, ideologically, is simply not what this president ran on....This is no longer change you can believe in....This is somebody who has been a senior executive at Morgan Chase- no longer the concerns of the middle class, no longer carrying the banner that got him elected."
AP reporters Calvin Woodward and Andrew Taylor answered the bell and came out swinging at the Republican House within hours after John Boehner was sworn in as Speaker, accusing the GOP of supposedly breaking a number of core promises.
As usual when the wire service covers Republicans, there's no shortage of inconsistency bordering on hypocrisy coming from AP's alleged journalists.
Here are selected paragraphs from this morning's report ("PROMISES, PROMISES: GOP drops some out of the gate"):
MSNBC's Chris Jansing dismissed as "complicated" a new House rule in the 112th Congress that requires every piece of legislation being considered to have a statement laying out where in the Constitution the Congress has the authority to legislate on that particular matter.
"How complicated though, are we about to see things if the Republicans say you have to have a constitutional reason for every bill that goes before them," Jansing asked historian Michael Beschloss shortly after 10:30 a.m. EST on her January 6 "Jansing & Co." program.
Video follows page break. Click here for MP3 audio.
"The Tea Party Patriots call Phoenix 'the great southwestern city, born from the ruins of a former civilization, now the rebirth place of American culture. It will also be our opportunity to support the citizens of Arizona in their current political battles that carry so many national implications,'" Adler noted, before setting out on his attack of the state, first as ecologically and economically "unsustainable"...:
CNN's Eliot Spitzer on Monday's Parker-Spitzer bizarrely labeled former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney "very conservative" on Monday's Parker-Spitzer as he cited the prominent Republican's support for legislation similar to ObamaCare: "I think it was interesting...that Governor Romney, a very conservative Republican, embraced the notion of the individual mandate as a governor" (audio available here).
Spitzer and co-host Kathleen Parker brought on Congressman-Elect David Schweikert just before the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour to discuss congressional Republicans' aim to pass a repeal of ObamaCare during the upcoming session. During most of the interview, the former Democratic governor of New York pressed the Arizona Republican about the individual mandate. Midway through the segment, the CNN host asked, "But wasn't the idea behind the individual mandate basically saying to people who do not buy insurance, since you're going to get the care, we're going to charge you something so that when you get it...you've paid for it. Isn't- is that a notion you think is fair at its root?"
Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, the fiery leftist and Republican hater whose offensive comments about Republicans may well have cost him his seat last November, gets a fairly fond send-off in Monday's New York Times.
Reporter Michael Barbaro, previously known for his hostile coverage of Wal-Mart, called Grayson the “pugnaciously partisan, verbal-bomb-tossing, liberal folk hero of the 111th Congress,” and the headline and text box are complimentary. “Enter: Swinging. Exit: Much the Same Way.” The text box: “In or out of Congress, Alan Grayson is a man of strong views.”
Barbaro only briefly dealt with Grayson’s history of foul partisan fusillades, skipping Grayson’s campaign ad calling Republican opponent Daniel Webster “Taliban Dan” (which may have cost Grayson the election).
After relaying a few newly minted Graysonisms like calling incoming speaker of the House John Boehner a “tool of special interest,” Barbaro summarized the bombastic former lawmaker with a stream of ambivalent adjectives:
Representative Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida’s Eighth Congressional District, is leaving office on Wednesday much as he entered it two years ago -- as the pugnaciously partisan, verbal-bomb-tossing, liberal folk hero of the 111th Congress.
On Monday, TVNewser reported that John Roberts, who anchored CNN's American Morning from April 2007 until the end of 2010, will be joining Fox News as a national correspondent. Roberts, who joined CNN in 2006 after a 14-year career at CBS, had a reputation for liberal bias at both networks, particularly in his harsh labeling for Republicans/conservatives and his fawning over liberals.
Here are some examples of Roberts's most egregious bias compiled from the Media Research Center's archives, focusing primarily on his career on American Morning:
Cheerleading for Liberals
"Yeah, it is going to be a transformational primary here on the Democratic side of things. Do you get a sense that people are recognizing this idea of the grandeur of history involved here?"
-Roberts gushing over the "historic" nature of the race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, February 1, 2008 edition of American Morning.
"I want to just stipulate at the beginning of this interview, we are declaring a Reverend Wright-free zone today. So, no questions about Reverend Wright. Our viewers want us to move on, so this morning we're going to move on. Is that okay with you?"
-Opening statement from May 5, 2008 interview of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
In his report on the escalating dispute between the State of Texas and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, one thing you cannot accuse Ramit Plushnick-Masti of the Associated Press of being is a master of understatement. He claims that "Both sides and conservation groups agree the battle has put the health of Texas residents and the environment at risk."
Really? The only problem is that the AP reporter never found anyone who is currently on the Texas side of the dispute who is saying anything remotely resembling that.
Here are the opening paragraphs of Plushnick-Masti's prose, followed by a much later paragraph representing the closest the writer gets to naming someone on the Texas side to worry about the alleged "risk" (bold is mine):
From the New York Times on Thursday, in an item put together with the help of a half-dozen Times reporters ("Inaction and Delays by New York as Storm Bore Down"; bold is mine):
... Harry Nespoli, president of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, said the problems late Sunday (during the initial stages of the Northeast's post-Christmas snowstorm -- Ed.) underscored how the city could not rely on outside contractors to help with snow removal and other jobs in such storms, particularly during a holiday weekend.
“You can never count on the privates, because they don’t have to show up,” he said. “What obligation do they have? The mayor can’t order them out. The commissioner can’t order them out.”
That's quite an interesting assertion, given the following item carried in the New York Post today:
The dictionary says that a rumor is:
- a story or statement in general circulation without confirmation or certainty as to facts.
- gossip; hearsay
The dictionaries in use at the offices of the New York Times must include the following backup definition: "Any set of facts and/or allegations reported by the New York Post."
After yesterday's blockbuster report ("Sanitation Department's slow snow cleanup was a budget protest") Reporters at the Post piled on today, so to speak, with additional news relating to the snow removal slowdown in which New York City's unionized sanitation workers allegedly engaged:
Sanitation workers targeted specific neighborhoods
As the broadcast network morning newscasts on Thursday each interviewed former Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell regarding allegations that she misused campaign money, in the setup piece on each network, the correspondent failed to inform viewers of credibility weaknesses on the part of O’Donnell’s accusers and omitted O’Donnell’s contention that she did not use campaign money to pay for rent on her home. Additionally, only CBS’s Jan Crawford informed viewers that the group pushing for an investigation - the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) - is a "left-leaning" group, as NBC’s Norah O’Donnell vaguely referred to a "watchdog group," and ABC’s Rob Nelson did not mention the organization.
Although both accusers who used to work for the O’Donnell campaign were fired - one after less than two weeks on the job - all three networks failed to inform viewers of these details that would suggest they may be disgruntled, and NBC’s Norah O’Donnell on the Today show even suggested that the accusers have greater credibility because they, like Christine O’Donnell, are Republicans, while the NBC correspodnent failed to inform viewers that the group CREW is liberal. NBC’s Norah O’Donnell reported: "O'Donnell calls them phony, but it was members of her own party who first raised the issue. During this year's bitter primary battle, Delaware's Republican Party paid for robo calls where O'Donnell's past campaign manager accused her of breaking the law in her failed 2008 Senate bid."
To those who have spent time following new reports emanating from the Associated Press, it's not exactly a secret that many of the alleged journalists who work there are having difficulty with the idea that there will be a new Republican majority in the House during the next two years. A further annoyance is that many members of that majority, especially the newer ones, hold sensible, Constitution-based views inspired by Tea Party movement. But as supposed professionals, you would think that the folks at the wire service might try a little harder to avoid blatantly revealing their bias.
If the AP's Julie Pace was really trying to stay within the bounds of the patently obvious, she failed miserably, as the bolded words in the following paragraph from her 2:31 p.m. report (also saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes) on President Obama's decision to delay submitting a budget to Congress until mid-February indicate:
ABC's Dan Harris gave a slanted report on Wednesday's GMA about the Catholic bishop of Phoenix, Arizona stripping a hospital there of its Catholic status: "This is a story that involves a nun, described as saintly; a Catholic bishop; a world-class hospital; and a controversy now being discussed across the country." Harris unnecessarily introduced the priestly sex scandal into his report, and played a sound bite from a doctor who thought religion should be kept out of medical decisions involving crisis pregnancies.
The correspondent began his report with his "saintly" superlative for Sister Margaret McBride, and continued by giving a brief summary of the controversy she is involved in, throwing in his line about the sex scandal in the process: