There's something to be said for a slightly irreverent, punchy writing style when it comes to reporting political developments in an online news venture. But is conjuring up the image of Ohio as flyover country a way to endear outside-the-Beltway readers to The Politico?
A nine-term member of Congress, Hobson, 70, announced his plans to retire Sunday. “I wanted to go out on top,” said Hobson, who said his health is good. In a telephone interview with Politico, he said he had been thinking about retiring for quite a while and “almost did not run last year.”
Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) will now face questions over the fact that three of the 12 Republicans (Hobson, Ralph Regula and Deborah Pryce) who have announced their retirement this year come from the Buckeye State, Boehner’s home.
Now, I know finding a Republican in Chicago city government is probably less likely than spotting a nudist in a porcupine convention, but is it asking too much for the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times to add a D-tag when reporting on six-term (and freshly re-elected) Mayor Richard M. Daley's push for an 11 percent city sales tax and a 10-cent-per-bottle bottled water tax?
It's particularly puzzling given the Sun-Times excellent reporting by Tim Novak and Fran Spielman on the "hidden tax" imposed by corruption within the Daley administration:
When Mayor Daley asked Chicagoans to cough up $293 million more next year to finance the cost of city government, there's one tax he failed to mention: The Corruption, Waste and Mismanagement Tax.
Democratic mayor Robert Levy, accused of being a phony soldier of sorts, went AWOL on September 26, failing to report to work on behalf of the citizens of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Reported the AP in an October 9 article:
Levy has been mired in scandal for nearly a year.
Last fall, the Press of Atlantic City reported that the Vietnam veteran's claims that he was a member of the Green Berets were untrue. He apologized.
But federal authorities have been looking into whether the 64-year-old Levy made that claim to increase his veteran's benefit payments.
Hmm, no party label? Even though this is not just resume embellishment but a possible case of veterans benefits fraud?
Writing at her "Couric & Co." blog this morning, CBS's Katie Couric gave journalist/feminist polemicist Susan Faludi a platform to flesh out her theory that the mainstream media have harnessed fears of terrorism post-9/11 to socially repress women and resurrect myths of the Old West. Here, for example, is Faludi's response to Couric's question about why Faludi penned her latest book:
The Bush administration has "finally been caught in their criminality," MSNBC host and former Speaker Tip O'Neill (D-Mass.) aide Chris Matthews seethed at the 10th anniversary party for his "Hardball" program, the Washington Examiner is reporting.
They're strong and loaded words, of course, but only the latest example of Matthews history of political bias against conservatives and the GOP. Yet coming as it does so close to the October 9 Republican presidential debate that Matthews will host, RedState's Erick Erickson is urging Republican candidates to call Matthews on the carpet for his bias.:
You know, I will be gravely disappointed if the GOP candidates do not make an issue of this at the debate.
If the GOP candidates are too chicken to take on Chris Matthews before a live television audience on Matthew's gross bias, they will have disgraced us all.
A day after slamming the president with a biased report on SCHIP, AP White House reporter Jennifer Loven worked her "Bush is a failure" meme into an "analysis" piece that chalked up every real or perceived failure of the Bush administration to the President and his team, and none to the persistent opposition of liberal critics in Congress:
WASHINGTON -- Over and over, President Bush confidently promised to "solve problems, not pass them on to future presidents and future generations." As the clock runs out on his eight-year presidency, a tall stack of troubles remain and Bush's words ring hollow.
Iraq, budget deficits, the looming insolvency of Social Security and Medicare, high health and energy costs, a national immigration mess - the next president will inherit these problems in January 2009. With Bush's popularity at an all time low and relations with the Democratic-led Congress acrimonious, he has little or no chance of pulling off a surprise victory in his time left.
While MSNBC's Keith Olbermann can hardly contain his glee at smacking around Rush Limbaugh over the taken-out-of-context "phony soldier" remark, it's notable that Olbermann himself essentially smeared Gen. David Petreaus as a phony at best and a traitor at the worst well before the Iraq war commander ever gave his assessment before Congress.
Indeed, before MoveOn.org issued the infamously juvenile "Betray Us" ad, Olbermann's minions plastered "Will Petreaus Betray Us?" in on-screen graphics during his August 16 program. [See also YouTube video appended at bottom of post]
Chatting with guest and liberal journalist Jonathan Alter on that program, Olbermann trashed the Petreaus report as a "ghost-written" concoction of the Bush White House, bound to be replete with partisan spin. Alter agreed, saying Petreaus has always been a "political" general, although he backtracked a bit to also say Petreaus was a "straight-shooter."
Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven practically blew kisses to the Left with her biased coverage of President Bush's veto of the Democratic proposal to boost SCHIP by a whopping $35 billion over five years.:
WASHINGTON -- President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance.
It was only the fourth veto of Bush's presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year's elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.
Ah yes, the old paint-the-conservatives-as-the-bad-guy trick. Bush's veto is [cue ominous music] a "sharp confrontation" that prevents kids from getting health care and is sure to doom the GOP to wander the electoral desert.
Those are all nice partisan talking points, but you'll notice no quote marks. It's all Loven's spin.
It doesn't take you a comprehensive Media Research Center study to know that the Huffington Post is a leftist site. Of course, MRC/NewsBusters' Tim Graham did such a study, but it's common knowledge in the media that HuffPo skews leftward. Yet New York Times staffer Bill Carter downplayed the liberal nature of the site in his October 2 story "CBSNews.com Chief to Lead a News and Blogs Site."
Carter kicked off his article by taking pains to avoid the ideological bent of HuffPo, instead painting HuffPo's new hire of a CBSNews.com staffer for chief executive as a sign that "new-media" outlets no longer have to sit at the MSM's version of the kids table:
The Huffington Post, a news Web site, plans to announce today the appointment of a new chief executive, Betsy Morgan, who will leave her job as the general manager of CBSNews.com.
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Telemundo reporter and mayoral mistress Mirthala Salinas is heading back at work after a two-month suspension, albeit demoted to a less prominent job within the network:
Television newscaster Mirthala Salinas, who was suspended without pay for two months in August after her affair with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa became public, is scheduled to return to work Monday. But she won't be taking up her old job as a fill-in anchor on evening newscasts for KVEA-TV Channel 52.
Instead, executives with the Spanish-language Telemundo network confirmed Monday that Salinas would be sent to the station's Inland Empire bureau in Riverside as a general assignment reporter, a notable fall for a one-time rising star who has become one of the most recognizable faces in local Spanish-language television.
When liberal journalists put on their political pundit hats to ostensibly handicap the policy stances of Republican politicians, you can rest assured that conservative or center-right stances will almost always be panned as political/electoral suicide.
Time magazine's Karen Tumulty is no exception in her recent Swampland blog post, "SCHIP: A Really Dumb Fight for Bush to Pick." in which the veteran reporter took President Bush to task for his veto threat for Democratic legislation that seeks to expand the size and mandate of the federally-backed State Children's Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP).
Every now and then you read something that is accepted in the MSM, or better yet, perpetrated upon its readers that literally leaves you speechless. The Gawker Jew bashing articles were my most recent examples. Until now.
The Washington Post has gone on a fact bashing mission over a stump speech that Presidential candidate Fred Thompson made in Iowa. The anonymous writer of 'the claim' zeros in on the following statement made by Thompson.
"You know, you look back over our history, and it doesn't take you long to realize that our people have shed more blood for other people's liberty than any other combination of nations in the history of the world.''
Since he became pontiff, the biased secular media have relished using harsh, loaded language like "ruthless" and "medieval" to describe Pope Benedict XVI. Blogger Mark Shea noticed those words appearing 126- and 169,000 times, respectively in a Google search.
But even worse, Shea argues, is how the media betray their utter lack of understanding of religious subjects when reporters start prattling on about how Benedict is "growing" during his papacy (h/t The Anchoress), when in reality they're just now discovering the clarity of what he's preached and taught all along:
In a September 18 entry on the Washington Post's Maryland Moment blog, two of the paper's writers spend most of their digital ink criticizing Tuesday's Maryland Court of Appeals ruling upholding the state’s marriage law.
Even the opening sentence reflects the Post’s bias, describing Maryland’s marriage law as “the state’s ban on gay marriage” and “the controversial law.”
For starters, the marriage law is not controversial, at least outside homosexual activist circles. All 50 states have laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman (even Massachusetts, which has no business issuing same-sex marriage licenses without a change in the law). What is controversial is the lower court ruling in January by Baltimore Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdock striking the law down.And what about the Post describing Maryland’s marriage law as “the state’s ban on gay marriage?”
So, 10 of the 11 New Jersey officials arrested last week on bribery and corruption charges were Democrats? Where's the establishment media outcry about a Democratic "culture of corruption" in the state?
A criminal probe targeting elected officials operating at most levels of government in New Jersey resulted in the arrest of 11 public officials and one private citizen last week. All 12 suspects have been charged with taking cash payments in exchange for influencing the distribution of public contracts, according to the criminal complaints. As part of the investigation, the FBI created an undercover insurance brokerage firm to offer bribes through undercover agents. The suspects are accused of accepting payments ranging from $3,500 to $32,000.
Brian Montopoli's writing at CBS's Public Eye blog has been sparse of late. Now the co-ombudsblogger is announcing he's moving elsewhere within the network:
Starting today, I’m officially becoming a political reporter for the new CBSNews.com politics section, which will be relaunching in its shiny new form soon. And that means, after two years, I’m saying goodbye to Public Eye.
This should be fun. NewsBusters has taken Montopoli to task before for his work with Public Eye, including a January 17 post where he hit a network correspondent from the left for not being biased enough:
Persistent Bush critic and recurring Sunday morning talk show fixture Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is announcing his retirement from the U.S. Senate. Reporting the story in the Sunday paper, the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Chris Cillizza described the Iraq war critic as a "mainstream conservative who raised his profile nationally through his fierce opposition to President Bush's Iraq policies."
While it is true that Hagel has a respectable 85.2 (out of a possible 100) lifetime score from the American Conservative Union, the Associated Press's Anna Jo Bratton more colorfully described the senator as "a thorn in his party's side when it comes to Iraq." The characterization is apt but perhaps a bit charitable given the retiring politician's suggestion that President Bush could be impeached over the war.
While both the Bratton and Post accounts focused on Hagel's retirement as another obstacle in the uphill battle for control of the Senate in 2008, neither article mentioned that Hagel made an oblique reference in March to the potential to impeach President George W. Bush over the Iraq war:
I know, it's a dog-bites-man story, but I thought I'd pass along that longtime White House correspondent and left-wing columnist Helen Thomas addressed the College Democrats at the University of Maryland on Wednesday evening.
I live close to the campus, but unfortunately found out about the event after the fact and hence was unable to drop in and take in my own observations. Fortunately Maryland's student paper The Diamondback covered the event. Unfortunately the reporter covering the assignment failed to press Thomas on her commanding respect as a journalist while forsaking any attempt to objectively report news from her perch at the White House. In fact reporter Chidima Okaparanta labeled Thomas's abrasive technique as a "straight-shooting reporting style, especially regarding the war in Iraq."
Below are some excerpts with portions in bold reflecting my emphasis:
Jeff Toobin, CNN’s senior legal analyst, made two statements on the resignation of attorney general Alberto Gonzales on Monday’s "American Morning" that point to his own political leanings. Co-host John Roberts, following-up on Toobin’s remark that he found himself "surprised" by this announcement, asked "Really? But surprised, but are you shocked? Toobin’s answer: "Well, not shocked. I mean, you know, this was a really preposterous attorney generalship at this point." Toobin also invoked the memory of John Mitchell, the attorney general under Nixon who was jailed due to Watergate, in his answer.
Later, when Roberts asked about the possibility of Michael Chertoff replacing Gonzales, Toobin mentioned some of Chertoff’s qualifications, including how he was law clerk to former Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, "the biggest liberal, probably, in the history in the court." Immediately after mentioning this detail, Toobin added, "So, he certainly has the resume you'd want." Toobin also offered some "balance" to this by mentioning that Chertoff was the Homeland Security Secretary during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
Friday’s earlier post on CNN’s "God's Warriors" hinted that CNN and Christiane Amanpour gave Muslim "fundamentalists" in the U.S. sympathetic treatment, while they showed discomfort towards Christian conservatives. The original intention was to give examples of each in that post, but the distinction is so clear and important that it deserves its own separate post.
Bob Knight of MRC’s Culture and Media Institute detailed some examples of Amanpour’s biased treatment of Christian conservatives in his latest column. She spent the last 20 minutes of "God’s Christian Warriors" profiling the Battlecry Campaign of Ron Luce, an evangelical Christian who runs a larger organization called Teen Mania Ministries.
As Knight pointed out, Amanpour "couldn’t quite conceal her hostility" towards Luce. A partial transcript from this segment showing the full context of her rather-pointed questions clearly demonstrated this hostility.
Christiane Amanpour’s six-hour miniseries "God’s Warriors" reflects less of the reality of "fundamentalist" monotheists - Jews, Muslims, and Christians - and more of liberals’ attitudes about these faiths. It is clear, given how CNN and Amanpour covered each faith, that they have sympathy towards Muslims in the U.S., "concern" with the Jewish settlers in the West Bank, and are uncomfortable towards the beliefs and practices of Christian evangelicals.
Tuesday night’s "God’s Jewish Warriors" focused on the cause of the "right-wing" Jewish settlers. The term "right wing" is used seven times to describe the settlers and/or their supporters in Israel and in the United States, and "fundamentalist/-ism" was used three times, once in reference to Christian supporters of the settlers in the U.S. On Wednesday night’s "God’s Muslim Warriors," "fundamentalist/-ism" was the more prevalent term, used 11 times. "Right wing" is used twice, only to describe Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch Parliament.
A partial transcript of the first occasion Amanpour used the term "right-wing" to describe Wilders:
"Activist arrested in L.A.: Deported to Tijuana, pastor says."
That's the headline for an August 20 Chicago Tribune story on convicted Social Security fraudster and serial border-jumper Elvira Arellano. Reporter Antonio Olivo mentioned the conviction, but deep in the article in the 14th paragraph:
Much of the anger from across the political spectrum surrounding illegal immigration has been crystallized by Arellano's story. After entering the country illegally twice, she became an activist shortly after she was arrested in 2002 during a federal sweep at O'Hare International Airport, where Arellano cleaned airplanes. She was later convicted of using a fake Social Security card.
CNN’s "from the Left" commentator Paul Begala apparently doesn’t want people to forget that Rush Limbaugh dealt with OxyContin addiction. During a panel discussion of Rudy Giuliani and the possible factor of his family life in his presidential bid, Begala attacked the GOP, accusing that the party "has made a practice of going after people’s families," and then singled out Limbaugh for doing this (though Limbaugh has never officially worked for the Republicans). "Not just attacking Bill Clinton, we remember Rush Limbaugh attacking Chelsea Clinton. Maybe it was just the OxyContin talking."
Hot on the heels of Barack Hussein Obama claiming U.S. troops are "killing civilians", Yahoo! News runs a AFP picture (right) taken by Wissam al-Okaili showing a woman with two bullets that purportedly "hit her house" during a coalition forces raid.
I won't even insult you by pointing out what's wrong with this picture. One photographer on a forum asks "How would any photo editor ever allow such a photo to be published?" I offer two answers; 1. Because they want to believe. 2. Because they don't know the first thing about guns or bullets.
In a completely Clintonesque defense (depends what the meaning of 'is' is), some are claiming that the bullets could have "hit her house" -- had they been thrown at it. '
U.S. hostility to amnesty for illegal immigrants from Mexico is not only hurting illegals here, but crippling poor Mexicans in Mexico as well. So says the New York Times, taking its talking points from a survey performed by a pollster.
To be precise, a Democratic pollster who studies Hispanic voting trends for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign -- a tidbit that didn't get into reporter Julia Preston's sympathetic story on Mexican immigrants no longer sending cash home because of a hostile climate in the U.S.
On Tuesday’s edition of "Nightline," anchor Martin Bashir interviewed businessman Tom Monaghan, founder of a new Catholic university in Florida and also a community called Ave Maria that will be based around Catholic values. Bashir parroted criticism that the town has "been described as a Catholic Jonestown, a kind of Catholic Iran, where individual rights and liberties are curtailed."
Earlier in the segment, Bashir asserted that the community, which will encourage traditional values but be open to all,has "been called a Disney World for Catholics, a country club Christianity."
New York Times political blogger Kate Phillips (who tried to wish away news coverage of John Kerry's "botched joke" on the eve of the 2006 congressional election) posted on the Times' "Caucus" blog Saturday from Chicago, the site of the YearlyKos convention put on by the liberal activist campaign blog The Daily Kos.
Phillips pushed Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the founder of the politically active blog, into the center:
The saying goes, if you tell a lie often enough, people will begin to believe it.
Such is the case with Valerie Plame. In reporting about Plame's setback in publishing her memoirs (a judge ruled she cannot include the dates of her employment with the CIA as they have not been declassified), Reuters says the following:
The ex-spy whose unmasking led to the conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide cannot disclose the dates she worked for the CIA because the details were never declassified, a federal judge has ruled.
The decision, made public on Friday by U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones, was a victory for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which sought to block former agent Valerie Plame Wilson from including the dates in her upcoming memoir, "Fair Game."
When leading Republican candidates Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney demurred on attending a Republican presidential debate hosted by the video-hosting site YouTube, some web-savvy Republicans protested. That's the background for New York Times reporter Katharine Seelye's "Allies Urge Republicans to Join YouTube Debate" Thursday.
"When the leading Republican presidential candidates started to squirm last week about attending a Sept. 17 YouTube debate, in which the public would ask questions via video, there was a surprising backlash from the world of Republican and conservative bloggers."
What's so "surprising" about bloggers wanting their party's candidates to participate in an Internet debate?
Seelye later referred to the situation as "a mess." Then there was this identification of blogger-author Andrew Sullivan
Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has received plenty of flak from both the Left and the Right for various reasons, but CNN's "American Morning" on Wednesday spent more than six minutes discussing an article critical of Giuliani's wife in the latest issue of the left-wing glossy magazine "Vanity Fair." Co-host John Roberts interviewed the author of the article, Judy Bachrach, as well as got a response from Giuliani friend and campaign aide Randy Mastro. In addition to this, "American Morning" ran a segment from "Anderson Cooper 360" political reporter Tom Foreman on Giuliani's criticism of the universal health care proposals of several Democrat presidential candidates. Foreman, using an overexcited tone in his voice, compared Giuliani to Tony Soprano, and portrayed Giuliani in a pretty unflattering light. (see more including transcript after the jump)