In quite a contrast to the immediate tagging of the Bush and Obama Supreme Court nominees as “conservative” (and that includes Sonya Sotomayor), on Monday night ABC and NBC refrained from applying any ideological description to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan while CBS snuck in one. CBS's Jan Crawford declared “her career has put her solidly on the left,” but contended “she will have significant conservative support among academics and lawyers” and warned “that support alarms some liberals.”
Amongst the non-ideological superlatives: ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted the “historic nomination” of the “five foot three inch powerhouse,” CBS's Crawford insisted “her interests reflect her openness. She loves softball and poker” (poker reflects “openness”?) and NBC's Pete Williams hailed her as an “accomplished poker player, opera lover.”
ABC, CBS and NBC all highlighted Kagan's high school yearbook picture of her in a robe and holding a gavel (ABC's Moran: “Even in high school, check out her yearbook photo here, she had her sights set on the high court”), but none pointed out the explicitly very liberal polemical points she made just a year or two later, nor did CNN's The Situation Room.
In the 7:30AM ET half hour on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez lobbed softballs to disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer about his college friend and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan: "She's been labeled as moderate. If you had to put a label on her, would you say that one is accurate?" A headline on screen read: "Who is Elena Kagan?"
Spitzer replied: "I guess you could say moderate....it's very hard to pigeon hole her." Rodriguez's question was prompted by his insistence that Kagan "is not an ideologue of the Left or the Right and that is clear from what she did as dean of Harvard Law School. Just a perfect temperament to be a justice." Of course, during Kagan's tenure as dean of Harvard Law, she pushed for military recruiters to be barred from campus because of her opposition to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.
Rodriguez wondered about Kagan's college days: "Can you think of a story or an anecdote from back then?" Spitzer recalled: "a friend and I were going back and forth about who could eat more, she goaded us into having a spaghetti eating contest." Rodriguez looked for the best way to spin the story to make it relevant: "I'm trying to take something from that, could it be that she's persuasive, can bring people together, which is what the President is hoping?" In response, Spitzer declared that once on the Supreme Court, Kagan "will get the fifth vote."
Which is more newsworthy: hearsay accounts of racial slurs unsupported by video evidence of the alleged incident, or video of a protester calling for violent revolution against the federal government, the imposition of socialism, and the annexation of the Southwestern states for Mexico?
If you chose the latter, you're probably not a journalist of the self-proclaimed "mainstream" variety. The legacy media has been largely silent on video of Los Angles schoolteacher at a La Raza protest of the recently-passed Arizona immigration law literally calling for the violent overthrow of the United States government.
"There's 40 million potential revolutionaries north of the border, inside the belly of the beast," Los Angeles high school history teacher Ron Gochez told a frenzied crowd, referring to the 40 million Latin Americans in the United States. He went on to claim that teaching or writing a book "is not part of the movement," and that his followers needed to go a step further -- to literal revolution (video embedded below the fold - h/t Jawa Report).
Columbus Bureau Chief Jim Provance at the Toledo Blade is a one-man "Name That Party" creativity machine:
In March of last year (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), in a story about late financial reports from Ohio's state government, Provance identified State Auditor Mary Taylor, who criticized Governor Ted Strickland's administration for being so tardy with the numbers that they could not be audited in time for biennial budget deliberations -- but never identified Strickland or anyone else involved in the snafu as a Democrat. NewsBusters commenter "Hoosierem reported that Provance, in response to a subsequent e-mail, had stated that "I should have taken the next step of noting the governor’s party."
Then in May (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the slow-learning Blade reporter, in a story about the indictment of Anthony Gutierrez, a former aide to disgraced Democrat and former Attorney General Marc Dann (pictured at top right in a Blade photo), never named Guttierez's party -- but did name the party of the county prosecutor who indicted him.
Provance's latest exercise in Name That Party creativity (HT to Maggie Thurber in an e-mail) revolves around Dann's guilty pleas on Thursday to ethics violations. This time, he got in a "clever" dig about Republican scandals going back a half-decade in his opening sentence, but never specifically ID'd Dann as a Democrat, referring only to "a Democratic wave" and "fellow Democrats" -- in Paragraph 11.
Several large Latino and civil rights organizations on Thursday announced a business boycott of Arizona, saying that a tough anti-illegal immigration law there would lead to racial profiling and wrongful arrests.
The boycott call was led by the National Council of La Raza, or N.C.L.R., one of the nation's biggest Latino groups, and was joined by the League of United Latin American Citizens and the National Puerto Rican Coalition. The groups said they would ask members and supporters to refrain from planning conventions or conferences in Arizona and from buying goods produced in the state.
"The law is so extreme, and its proponents appear so immune to an appeal to reason, nothing short of these extraordinary measures is required," Janet Murguía, the president of N.C.L.R., said Thursday at a news conference in Washington.
Speaking of extreme: The unlabeled La Raza is a left-wing Hispanic activist group ("La Raza" stands for "the race,") leaving the group not much room to accuse others of making race-based appeals. And La Raza president Janet Murguia has a disturbingly authoritarian take on her political opponents.
Back in February 2008 she called for opinionators like Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck to be removed from the airwaves because of their "hate speech" against illegal immigrants. (Revealingly, the Times's unquestioning story on the rant failed to place the inflammatory phrase "hate speech" in quotation marks, letting the smear stand as apparent fact.)
Media Research Center President and Brent Bozell appeared on last night's "Hannity" for a new recurring segment entitled "Media Mash," where the NewsBusters publisher and the Fox News host go over some of the latest instances of the liberal media's bias.
Last night's topics included media coverage of Florida Senate candidate Charlie Crist's jumping ship from the GOP to run as an independent and the new Arizona anti-immigration law, and Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber suspect.
After showing viewers of the May 7 "Fox & Friends" a montage of network news coverage portraying Times Square bombing suspect as a down-on-his-luck family man, Fox News anchor Steve Doocy interviewed Media Research Center President Brent Bozell for his reaction about the media's portrayal of Faisal Shahzad (MP3 audio available here; click play in embed at right for video):
STEVE DOOCY, Fox News anchor: Brent, when we put those little clips together, it sure makes it sound like they're trying to find, you know, rationalize why that guy did it, and obviously, it's because he lost his house, and he was down on his luck, they say.
BRENT BOZELL: It can't be terrorism, and it's not just television. Here's an AP story: "Faisal had a pretty enviable life. He earned an MBA, he had a well-educated wife, he had two kids and owned a house in a middle-class suburb of Connecticut. In the past couple of years, though, his life seemed to unravel."
Here's the headline from Newsweek: "Did the economy make him do it?" Here's the headline from AOL: "New York bomb suspect cooperates, but motive a mystery." This is unbelievable! It's not a mystery, folks.
CNN and the Associated Press on Wednesday and Thursday touted how the tea party movement apparently didn't get motivate voters to turn out and "throw out the bums" in Republican primaries in Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio. Both outlets, however, omitted how senate candidate Rob Portman ran unopposed in his primary race in Ohio.
Anchor Rick Sanchez brought on CNN national political correspondent Jessica Yellin during a segment 21 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour of his Rick's List program on Wednesday. After noting how Democratic Representative David Obey, a "partisan brawler," was retiring, and how "Sarah Palin and tea party influences" might be "running some of these rascals out of office," Sanchez turned to Yellin and asked her about the results: "Those allegedly angry voters could have stormed the polls in droves and thrown out the bums. They would have all been there in big numbers, and they're going to get rid of the incumbents, get rid of the old hacks. So, did that happen?"
NewsBusters contributor Scott Whitlock's May 4 item, "MSNBC's Contessa Brewer 'Frustrated' That Times Square Bomber Is a Muslim" was noticed by Fox News Channel "Special Report" anchor Bret Baier, who included a reference to the story and the underlying controversy in his May 5 "Grapevine" segment.
John Christoffersen's article for the Associated Press on Tuesday night highlighted the life woes of Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the failed Times Square bombing plot, citing how "his life seemed to unravel." Christoffersen also noted Shazad's "outspokenness about [former] President George W. Bush and the Iraq war."
The AP writer's article, titled "Times Square bombing suspect's life had unraveled," first detailed the suspect's past "enviable life:" how he had become a U.S. citizen, his wealthy Pakistani family, his MBA, his "well-educated wife and two kids" and the house he owned "in a middle-class Connecticut suburb." Christoffersen then continued with the recent difficulties he faced : "In the past couple of years, though, his life seemed to unravel: He left a job at a global marketing firm he'd held for three years, lost his home to foreclosure and moved into an apartment in an impoverished neighborhood in Bridgeport. And last weekend, authorities say, he drove an SUV loaded with explosives into Times Square intent on blowing it up."
On Tuesday's American Morning, CNN's Jim Acosta sympathized with the suspect in the failed Times Square terror plot, Faisal Shahzad, citing how a guest claimed that his family's house in Connecticut went into foreclosure in 2009: "One would have to imagine that that brought a lot of pressure and a lot of heartache on that family" [see video here].
Acosta remarked on Shahzad's familial difficulty at the end of an interview of Brenda Thurman, one of the suspect's former neighbors, which began 47 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour. During the interview, the CNN personality, who was filling in for anchor John Roberts, asked Thurman about her foreclosure claim: "What sense did you get from the family? I mean, you just said a few minutes ago, I think- that it's pretty significant that this house that he apparently owned was foreclosed on in Shelton, Connecticut....Did you get a sense from the family as to- I mean, that must have been extremely difficult on them."
Hosting a debate segment this morning between Republican strategist Alex Conant and Democratic strategist Mo Elleithee that examined the political dimensions of the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, MSNBC's Tamron Hall played soundbites from two politicians with rather divergent views on offshore drilling.
The first was liberal Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) opposing expanding offshore drilling to California, the second was conservative Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), who gave a rather dopey comment where he downplayed the devastation of the oil spill by comparing its appearance to "chocolate milk."
After playing those clips back-to-back, Hall asked for Conant's reaction, mistakenly referring to Taylor as a Republican.
We at NewsBusters quickly tweeted Hall about her error and she promptly issued an on-air correction, albeit mistakenly tagging Taylor as a "Michigan Democrat" [MP3 audio available here]:
The November outlook for Democratic candidates may be bleak, but New York Times reporter James McKinley Jr. shook his pom-poms for Bill White, former mayor of Houston and a Democratic candidate for governor of Texas, against "rightwing politician" Gov. Rick Perry, in Sunday's label-soaked "Texas Democrat Is Striving to Make His Name Known."
On the same day Newsweek magazine anointed Gov. Rick Perry on its cover as a conservative icon, his Democratic opponent, Bill White, was slogging through small-scale campaign stops here in a Republican stronghold, needling the governor, saying he paid more attention to his career than to bread-and-butter issues like schools.
The match-up between Mr. Perry and Mr. White this fall promises not only to test the depth of the conservative backlash against President Obama, but also to shed light on just how Republican the state has become and whether the slim signs of a Democratic resurgence in the 2008 election were chimerical.
Conventional wisdom holds that this is a bad year to run as a Democrat in a state like Texas. Since the mid-1990s, Republican candidates have started off with a 10-point advantage just for being Republican. What's more, most political scientists and strategists say the pendulum is swinging back against the Democrats after Mr. Obama's victory in 2008.
The backlash among staunch conservatives, who are angry about the bailout of banks and deficit spending to create jobs, has given rightwing politicians like Mr. Perry a wind at their backs. Indeed, Mr. Perry has actively courted disaffected voters angry with Washington, appearing with Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck and building Mr. Perry's national profile.
Actor Alec Baldwin and New York Times assistant managing editor Richard Berke went back and forth mocking Sarah Palin during a discussion at Harvard University on Wednesday.
Baldwin dubbed Palin "caribou barbie," while Berke rehashed the former Alaska Governor's interview with Katie Couric during the 2008 campaign -- perhaps the left's favorite Palin-basing talking point. Baldwin went on to attribute Palin's success to a television news culture that sports women who look like they "just popped off the runway."
These demeaning comments marked the latest in the liberal elite's condescension of Sarah Palin -- condescension that would likely be condemned as outright sexism if directed at another prominent public figure. Videos of the exchange are embedded below the fold.
Last August, Maryland state delegate Jon Cardin (D-Baltimore County), nephew of the state's junior U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin (D), proposed marriage to his girlfriend. But unlike normal folks who might propose via the jumbotron at the ball park or by having a waiter slip the diamond ring in a champagne flute, Del. Cardin decided to get the local cops to help arrest his woman's heart -- by staging a "boat raid" complete with a police helicopter.
Unfortunately for the reader, nowhere in Hermann's 18-paragraph story was Cardin's party affiliation disclosed, even though Cardin is up for reelection this fall. Meanwhile, the young state delegate's stunt has hurt the career of a Baltimore police sergeant that foolishly complied with the delegate's request:
Time magazine's website on Thursday named me to their tongue-in-cheek "Least Influential People of 2010" list, ranking me with other notables such as Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, MSNBC anchor David Shuster, and Clarence Thomas. Contributor Joel Stein stated that he was "short on morons" to put on his list, so he picked me after CNN anchor Rick Sanchez told him about our recent dispute.
The Time writer got to me after listing three-pages-worth of notables. I was immediately preceded by actor Joaquin Phoenix, "political extremist" Lyndon LaRouche, and Justice Thomas. Stein detailed that "Rick Sanchez told me to put him on because they got in a fight about whether Sanchez was serious or kidding about being surprised volcanoes exist in cold places like Iceland. I forgot to ask Rick what category he thinks Balan should go in, but I was short on morons so I put him here."
As you might remember, I put up an item on NewsBusters on April 15 about the CNN anchor's remark about "when you think of a volcano, you think of Hawaii and long words like that. You don't think of Iceland. You think it's too cold to have a volcano there." Four days later, Sanchez named me to "the very top" of his "List U Don't Want 2 Be On," and devoted more than four minutes to how I did a "hot job" on him for his "joke."
The president is repeating a blatant falsehood about the Arizona law that has gained instant currency in the establishment press and leftist circles. It has no basis in fact, or in the legislation Grand Canyon State Governor Jan Brewer recently signed.
It's no secret that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy was a major obstacle to a proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound, but Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin at least buried that fact in today's 18-paragraph page A6 story on the Obama administration approving the first offshore wind farm in the United States.
In the lead paragraph, Eilperin hailed the announcement by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as "a move that could pave the way for significant offshore wind development elsewhere in the nation."
Yet Eilperin waited until the 14th paragraph to note that the project, "split the Democratic Party" when it was proposed in 2001 because Kennedy, "whose family compound overlooks the sound, fought it, with criticism of its aesthetics and its effects on fishing and boating."
Of course Eilperin devoted a significant part of her article to relaying the objections of other opponents of the Cape Wind project, liberal activists who tossed out the predictable boilerplate liberal invective against Big Business...:
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on today's "Fox & Friends" to discuss how the media portray Tea Parties as hot beds of extremism and/or racism -- despite the fact Tea Parties have been peaceful affairs with no scrapes with the law -- while violence-plagued rallies held to protest the new anti-illegal immigration law in Arizona law are being defended in the media as "mostly peaceful."
About 45 minutes before that segment, the Fox News hosts mentioned a related April 26 story by NewsBusters contributor Scott Whitlock on the same topic.
The video embedded at right shows both that mention and the Bozell interview (MP3 audio available here).
Newsweek continued its campaign against the Catholic Church on Friday by letting one of the leading atheist (not to leave out anti-Catholic) voices internationally, Christopher Hitchens, spout half-truths and smears about Pope Benedict XVI and the Church. Most egregiously, Hitchens inaccurately stated that Vatican City "was created by Benito Mussolini," thus trying to tie Catholicism to fascism.
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
Last month I noted Newsweek's Liz White's complaint about the term "ObamaCare" being used as shorthand for the Democratic health care legislation. White griped that the term was "ominous-sounding" and favored by the legislation's conservative opponents as reasons why mainstream media outlets should eschew the term.
Now a full 27 days later, White is back at it with her complaint about the term "ObamaCare." This time, she's citing none other than liberal Comedy Central "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart to back her up:
Stewart immediately jumps on O’Hara’s slip, calling him out on using the “derogatory” phrase and firing back by referring to O’Hara’s book as a “tea-bagger book.” O’Hara stammers for a few seconds and tries to defend his word choice, but concedes to calling it the health-reform bill instead. (It’s a law, by the way.)
Last month, I took on this same issue. Should the bill be called Obamacare, or is that phrase, as Stewart puts it, derogatory by nature?
A Sarasota, Florida, doctor recently lost his medical license on the basis of an error he made in 2006 in an abortion procedure where he mistakenly took the life of the healthier fraternal twin of a boy diagnosed in utero with Down Syndrome.
In covering the story, most media outlets have noted that Dr. Matthew Kachinas aborted "the wrong baby."
Baptist theologian and radio program host Dr. Albert Mohler took the airwaves on his April 19 program to discuss both the case in question and the media's coverage thereof.
Here's what he said about the latter at the opening of Monday's program:
Last week I saw a news story that simply stopped me in my tracks, and I wrote about it at AlbertMohler.com, an article entitled, "Aborting the 'Wrong' Baby?" There's a question mark at the end of that question. It has to do with a news story that came out of Florida.
Dr. Matthew Kachinas had been stripped of his medical license last week by a Florida medical review board for -- and this is how the media discussed it -- for aborting the wrong baby.
On her CNN program on Monday, Campbell Brown forwarded one of the Left's talking points about the tea parties by stating that "it does appear that we are seeing a rise in right wing extremism recently." However, her guest, historian Robert Churchill of the University of Hartford, downplayed her claim and claimed that groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center were "exaggerating" the threat.
Brown brought on Churchill at the bottom half of the 8 pm Eastern hour. Midway through the interview, she made her "right wing extremism" claim and cited "a number of studies that have looked at this. The Department of Homeland Security came out with a study last year saying that, perhaps, it's the economy, or possibly the President's race." The anchor then asked, "What do you see as driving recruitment right now, beyond just sort of the generic more- or not generic, but more general libertarian view?"
Jessica Yellin continued CNN's biased coverage towards Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church, and the sex abuse scandal on Friday's Campbell Brown program. After replaying a report from Tuesday on one dissenting priest's call for the Pope's resignation, Yellin misleadingly asked, "Why is he [the Pope] having such a hard time saying he's sorry?" She also brought on two liberals to discuss the scandal.
Before the replay of correspondent Mary Snow's report on Father James Scahill's public call for Benedict XVI's resignation at 26 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour, Yellin, who was filling-in for anchor Campbell Brown, noted that "just yesterday, in a rare reference to the scandal, the Pope called for penitence for the Church's sins. But for some, penitence is not enough." After Snow's report, the substitute anchor read a promo for the upcoming segment, which included the "why is he having such a hard time saying he's sorry" claim.
Timothy Egan, a New York Times reporter for 18 years before turning into a liberal blogger at nytimes.com, demanded in a Wednesday night posting that the next Supreme Court justice hail from a law school other than Harvard or Yale: "Supreme Club."
At last count, there were about 200 law schools in the United States accredited by the American Bar Association, but apparently only two of them -- Harvard and Yale -- can be a path to serving on the highest court in the land.
It was surprising enough to see that with the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court will not have a single Protestant among its black-robed elite. But equally jaw-dropping was the fact that without Stevens, every member of the court has attended Harvard or Yale law school.
Fair enough. But he goes off the rails claiming that Stevens, who has held down the liberal wing of the court for years, is actually a moderate. In fact, Egan seems to go further than even liberal former Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse in bizarrely claiming that there are no liberals on the court, just four moderates, balanced, presumably, against five conservatives! This on a court that includes, besides Stevens, former ACLU lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Stevens, one of four moderates on the Court, has held that seat. He is not just the last World War II veteran to serve, but as a product Northwestern University Law School, he succeeded a very iconoclastic justice, William O. Douglas, whose law school days were not spent in Cambridge or New Haven.
Combining bleeding heart bluster with soak-the-rich envy, Newsweek's Ben Adler savaged liberal billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an April 14 The Gaggle blog post for his green-lighting city homeless shelters to levy a monthly rent on residents who hold down jobs:
Don't complain about your taxes today, they are surely less than the 44 percent of one's income that homeless New Yorkers are about to start paying.
New York City, whose mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is worth an estimated $17.5 billion, has announced that it is going to charge homeless people for staying in city housing shelters.
Adler went on to briefly cite the New York Daily News before snarking that "[a]nyone who has spent a minute in a homeless shelter knows better than to buy the preposterous idea that people who could afford an apartment would rather stay there."
Of course that's an unfair assessment of the argument for charging rent of homeless shelter residents who have jobs. From the Daily News article Adler himself cited (emphasis mine):
Reporting from Jefferson City, Missouri, David Lieb of the Associated Press understated the number of people expected to attend rallies through the US ("thousands"), misrepresented a previous March 20 incident involving alleged racial slurs at the U.S. Capitol, and waited until his fourteenth paragraph to mention leftist "party crashers" who may be at least as much of a concern to organizers as far-right opportunists.
Here are the relevant paragraphs from Lieb's litter (link is dynamic; 9:13 a.m. version of report saved here at web host for fair use and discussion purposes; bolds are mine):
An unbylined Associated Press item on today's Tea Party Express tour wrap-up in Washington uses a word that the wire service almost never (if not absolutely never) applies to truly violent leftist groups.
The Google page carrying the AP report also has an interesting lead "Related article."
Here's the brief AP item (produced in full for fair use and discussion purposes), whose headline seems to want to twist the event into an act of hypocrisy simply because of where it's being held: