On Thursday morning, CNN downplayed the partisan nature of “legendary” Senator Ted Kennedy’s request to backtrack on a 2004 change in Massachusetts state law which allowed Democrats to hold on to John Kerry’s Senate seat had he won the election. While anchor John Roberts and correspondent Dana Bash explained the circumstances of the 2004 change, Bash merely labeled it a “political irony.”
Roberts gave two news briefs about Kennedy’s letter to Massachusetts officials during American Morning, summarizing that the commonwealth “changed [the law] in 2004 requiring a special election because then-Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, could have appointed someone had Senator John Kerry won the presidential election....Senator Kennedy wants there to be an interim appointment before a special election just to make sure that the state’s covered.” The anchor didn’t include any mention of the health care issue in either of his briefs, which is a clear factor in play with the liberal senator’s request.
On Tuesday, an Oklahoma state judge struck down "one of the most sweeping anti-abortion laws in the country" and in response yesterday, Republican state legislators vowed to "pass the law again in a different form," New York Times reporter James C. McKinley Jr. noted in the August 20 paper.
"It almost reaches the stage of seeming cruel to me," McKinley quoted Planned Parenthood official Anita Fream regarding one of the law’s provisions.
But for an "anti-abortion law," the statute in question doesn’t actually ban any abortion procedure. It does, however, issue new regulations on abortion providers meant to increase the chances that more women seeking abortions may change their minds at the last minute:
CNN anchor Rick Sanchez accused anti-ObamaCare activists of forwarding “misrepresentations, and flat out lies in some cases” during a segment with “progressive” pastor and Obama apologist Jim Wallis on Wednesday’s Newsroom program. Sanchez placed the blame on the protesters relying “exclusively [on] right-wing media and right-wing television channels.”
The anchor brought on Reverend Wallis, the head of the “progressive Christian group Soujourners,” to discuss the phone-in town hall meeting he was hosting with President Obama. Midway through the interview, Sanchez raised the “wild behavior that we’ve seen in some of these health care forums” and made his first accusation against the anti-ObamaCare protesters: “When you hear, for example, some of the misrepresentations, and flat out lies in some cases, like calling things death panels and saying that people are going to be- old people are going to be killed, including some of them spread by people who profess to be Christians. How do you- how do you reconcile that as- as a Christian yourself?”
David Zurawik, the Baltimore Sun’s TV critic, didn’t even wait a full 24 hours after Robert Novak’s death to launch a stinging criticism of the former Crossfire host on the newspaper’s website on Tuesday. Zurawik lamented the apparently contaminated state of political discourse on cable TV and placed much of the blame on Novak in the blog entry titled, “Robert Novak on cable TV: A Polarizing Presence.”
The critic began by announcing his intention to focus on the conservative’s television legacy, instead of his “place...on the political and journalistic map.” He then when right into his attack on Novak, which read like a thinly-veiled critique of the Fox News Channel: “Novak titled his 2007 memoir, ‘The Prince of Darkness,’ and he was indeed a very dark force in cable TV news contributing mightily to the toxic culture of confrontation, belligerence and polarization that so defines cable TV and American political discourse today. There is no way to be nice about his impact on cable TV during its formative years -- and his contributions for the worse to the tone and style of what passes for political conversation today.”
The news isn't just that self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals nationwide. That's old hat. The big news from Gallup is that conservatives outnumber liberals in every state in the union, including supposedly uberliberal Vermont and Massachusetts.
Time magazine’s Joe Klein complained about the legal appearance of openly-carried weapons at protests against President Obama during a segment on CNN’s Newsroom on Monday, and labeled the protests against ObamaCare as a “celebration of ignorance and misinformation.” Anchor Rick Sanchez and his other guest also falsely characterized one of the guns carried at a recent protest.
Sanchez first asked Klein about the appearance of guns at several recent protests against President Obama outside his health care town hall events or speeches: “Joe, I don’t remember people protesting against President Bush showing up with weapons. Do you?” The Time columnist answered, “No. I’ve been doing this for almost 40 years now, and I’ve never seen anything like this. There should be like a Second Amendment equivalent of the First Amendment- shouting fire in a crowded theater.”
On Saturday’s House Call program, CNN’s Sanjay Gupta finally reported the left-wing affiliation of a “health insurance insider” glowingly featured on his network. Gupta noted that Wendell Potter was a “senior fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy” and that the former Cigna spokesman was now “pro- a public insurance option.” He didn’t label Potter’s organization or position as leftist.
The following day, ABC’s Good Morning America on Sunday ran a sympathetic piece on Potter’s “personal journey from health industry insider to outsider” that treated him as a subject of a human interest story. Despite reporting on the fellow’s “loss of income, status, position and colleagues,” correspondent Ron Claiborne omitted Potter’s new liberal affiliation.
The Washington Post editorial page threw itself today into quite an odd political position.
The Post seems to think that Bob McDonnell, the GOP candidate for Virginia governor, should be more vocal about his opposition to abortion. His opponent, Creigh Deeds, recently attempted to make a campaign issue out of his (somewhat newfound) support for abortion rights – a strategy that the Post called “risky.” Today’s editorial, however, backed Deeds’ strategy:
Mr. Deeds's strategy of stressing abortion may work or backfire; time will tell. But to suggest, as the McDonnell campaign has, that a campaign discussion about abortion "is engaging in the politics of division" is disingenuous and wrong. Thousands of Virginians have abortions every year, a decision that touches on families and futures. It's a fair and pressing topic of debate.
That is a somewhat perplexing position. On its face, that appears to be gently pushing McDonnell to engage on an issue critical to winning over Virginia voters. The problem is, the Post’s position would throw the current debate among Virginia voters wildly off-topic, according to no less a source than a recent Washington Post poll.
If you haven't noticed, a lot of media outlets have gotten worked up into a tizzy over the mere mention of death panels. The New York Times got so worked up, it went after a few conservatives outlets by name in its Aug. 13 issue.
"But the rumor [that Obama's health care proposal would create death panels] - which has come up at Congressional town-hall-style meetings this week in spite of an avalanche of reports laying out why it was false - was not born of anonymous e-mailers, partisan bloggers or stealthy cyberconspiracy theorists," Jim Rutenberg and Jackie Calmes wrote for the Times. "Rather, it has a far more mainstream provenance, openly emanating months ago from many of the same pundits and conservative media outlets that were central in defeating President Bill Clinton's health care proposals 16 years ago, including the editorial board of The Washington Times, the American Spectator magazine and Betsy McCaughey, whose 1994 health care critique made her a star of the conservative movement (and ultimately, New York's lieutenant governor)."
On The Situation Room today, CNN congressional correspondent Brianna Keilar reported on "almost a love-fest" for Arkansas Democratic Congressman Mike Ross:
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, compared to some of the other town hall meetings that we've seen, some very contentious town hall meetings, this one was almost a love-fest.
It started with a standing ovation as soon as Congressman Mike Ross was introduced. He, of course, is a prominent Blue Dog Democrat, a fiscally conservative Democrat. He and some other Blue Dogs forced House Democratic leaders to postpone a vote on their health care reform proposal until after Congress comes back in September.
That said, he also support many of the things in this health care reform push. But talking with some of the constituents, those who are for this health care reform push, those who are against it, they say that they think Congressman Mike Ross is really doing right by them.
There's about 700 people at this event. We were able to speak with about a dozen of them going into the meeting.
ABC News correspondent Brian Ross tried to connect the health care town hall protesters to hate groups on Friday’s GMA. Ross cited the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose left-wing political affiliation he omitted, and used two sound bites from the SPLC’s Mark Potok, who hyped that President Obama supposedly “triggered fears among...white people...that they are somehow losing their country.”
The ABC News correspondent led his report just after the beginning of the 7 am Eastern hour by underlining how it’s apparently been a “very ugly week as the rhetoric about the President and the threats against him have deeply worried the people who track this country’s hate groups.” After summarizing how police in Los Angeles arrested a man suffering from “mental problems” for making threats against the White House, and how the case is apparently part of a “disturbing pattern,” Ross played his first clip from Potok, who emphasized, “I don’t think that these are simply people who are mentally ill or...you know, kind of off their rockers. I think that...in a very real sense, they represent a genuine reaction- a genuine backlash against Obama.”
Citizens opposed to Obama's health-care overhaul are not only white, irritable, and angry, as the New York Times has confirmed in two front-page stories -- they're ignorant as well.
That's the new wrinkle reporter David Stout brings to the debate, in his web-only report Wednesday afternoon on congressional town hall meetings across the country dominated by health-care concerns, "For Lawmakers, Health-Plan Anger Keeps Coming."
Lawmakers ran into fresh anger and skepticism on Wednesday as they fielded questions from constituents worried about changes in the health care system, and about a lot of other things having to do with government.
The queries hurled at legislators from the Atlantic Seaboard to the nation's midsection reflected deep-seated fears, a general suspicion of government and, in some cases, a lack of knowledge on the part of the questioners.
Topside Update, 2:15 p.m.: Imagine that -- Roxana Mayer was also an Organizing For America "host" during the Texas primary last year.
Anyone visiting here even semi-regularly knows that the establishment media consistently fails to determine the legitimacy of people who "say the right things." Further, when someone else, often a blogger, digs and finds the truth, the reporters and publications involved may sometimes grudgingly acknowledge it, but even then usually incompletely; and more often than not, they won't give credit where due.
This all-too-typical scenario has played out in the past two days in the case of a certain Roxana Mayer. In two posts (here and here), LA-area blogger Patterico, best known for his relentless skewering of the target-rich environment known as the Los Angeles Times, exposed Ms. Mayer, who claimed to be a doctor when she spoke at a town hall meeting held by Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (and who later hugged her, as seen at the top right), as a leftist fraud.
As Patterico noted in the title of his second post, Mayer's mantra ought to be "I’m Not a Doctor But I Play One at Town Hall Meetings." Patterico also showed that Mayer was also a Texas Obama delegate at last year's Democratic Convention.
At first, the Houston Chronicle took Mayer's word that she is a doctor, failed to investigate her bona fides, and reported the following:
During a segment on Tuesday’s Newsroom program, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez and correspondent Ali Velshi bizarrely agreed that the issues of illegal immigration and abortion, as well as the constitutionality of the ObamaCare proposal, had little to do the health care debate, after citizens raised those issues at a health care town hall with Senator Arlen Specter.
Sanchez led the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program with his questioning of the relevance of the abortion and Constitution issues to the health care debate, interspersed with clips from the Specter town hall: “A town hall meeting to discuss health care reform. But instead....children....the Constitution....the Gettysburg Address?...Overwhelmingly Republican and overwhelmingly anti-Obama....Which party is being helped or hurt by this?” The first sound bite was of an unidentified participant who brought up the illegal immigrant issue, and stated “the illegals- they shouldn’t even be here.” The second clip was from another participant who brought up the abortion issue: “While that baby is in the mother, we don’t count that as a person.” The last clip came from someone who quoted from Lincoln’s most famous speech.
The CNN anchor then began the first segment by playing more complete sound bites from the Specter town hall. As he introduced the clips, Sanchez hinted that the only reason why the illegal immigrant and abortion issues were raised at the Specter town hall was because they were “wedge issues.” Out of the five clips, only one came from a participant who brought up an issue that was completely unrelated to the ObamaCare proposal- the planned closure of Guantanamo Bay.
CNN’s Jim Acosta claimed that Rush Limbaugh’s website “compares the [ObamaCare] reform supporters to Nazis” during a report on Tuesday’s American Morning. The website actually draws a comparison between the DNC’s “Organizing for Health Care” logo and the Nazis’ Parteiadler (Party Eagle) symbol. Acosta also claimed that conservatives “falsely compared” ObamaCare to the Canadian health system.
Acosta filed his report from Portsmouth, New Hampshire where President Obama plans to hold a health care town hall meeting later in the day on Tuesday. He began by detailing how opponents to ObamaCare in the state “aren’t just sounding off at congressional town hall meetings...protesters descended on staff members of Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen in the middle of a routine constituent’s services meeting. It wasn’t a town hall forum, and the senator wasn’t even there. The protesters recorded the confrontation and put it on YouTube.”
The late Dr. Yury Verlinsky, a scientist "who developed a technology that allows a search-and-destroy mission on human embryos" was heralded by the New York Times recently as a man who helped childless patients conceive healthy babies.
"Shop Sold Guns to Pa., Va. Tech Shooters" blares the headline for an August 7 Associated Press story carried on Time.com.
But Time's headline for the accompanying AP story is woefully inaccurate and worse, deceptive. Pittsburgh fitness center shooter George Sodini, whom police say purchased his firearms legally, did not purchase them from online accessories dealer TGSCOM, Inc.
The same story accessed at Google has a more accurate headline, "Pa. gunman used same Web store as Va. Tech shooter."
Three of CNN’s political analysts- Jeffrey Toobin, David Gergen, and Gloria Borger- all gave President Obama B’s or B-pluses on the economy and overall job performance during the network’s special “The National Report Card: The Second 100 Days” on Thursday. These grades from these “non-partisan” analysts lined-up with the A’s and B’s that Democrats Paul Begala and Donna Brazile gave the president.
CNN conducted a non-scientific poll by phone and on the Internet of how the American people graded the President mainly on several issues, and others such as Hillary Clinton, Vice President Biden, and the news media in general at the 200-day mark of Obama’s presidency. As Wolf Blitzer and his so-called Best Political Team on Television presented the polling results, anchor Campbell Brown polled the “front panel” of Toobin, Gergen, and Borger, as well as the “back panel” of Begala and Brazile, and Republicans Alex Castellanos and Bill Bennett, for their personal grades of the subject in question. All of the participants held up placards with their grade, and explained how they came to that conclusion.
Just after the beginning of the 8 pm Eastern hour, Brown turned to the CNN analysts’ panel for their grade on President Obama’s handling of the economy. Senior legal analyst Toobin unsurprisingly replied, “I’m giving him a B. You know- he’s off to a decent start. He got a stimulus package planned. It passed. It seems like it’s having some impact, but the economy stinks and he’s the president and the buck stops there.”
Just in case you somehow haven't heard about it in the past couple of months, the Associated Press wanted to remind everyone this morning that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (who, to be clear, I believe should resign), who had AN AFFAIR(!!), went back to work today -- and that this really, really deserved to be a national story, as shown in the mini-pic of the AP's raw feed:
The unbylined AP item also reminded readers that Sanford "had been a GOP darling" earlier this year. Of course, there's no bias in that dubious statement.
Here's a picture of most of the short AP report, produced for the purposes of fair use, discussion, and ridicule:
Yet when reporting the story shortly after 9:30 a.m. EDT today, "CNN Newsroom" anchor Heidi Collins neglected to mention Jefferson's Democratic Party affiliation.
What's more, ten minutes earlier, neither Collins nor CNN producer Mike Ahlers mentioned the party affiliation of another ethically compromised Democrat, admitted adulterer John Edwards. The former one-term senator is under investigation for payments made by his political action committee to a former mistress.
Darlene Haynes was only 23 years old when another woman brutally slashed her open and removed her eight-month-old baby girl from her womb. Her decomposing body was found on July 27, wrapped in a blanket and dumped in a closet inside her apartment in Worcester, Massachusetts. The body was so mutilated that when they found it, the police said they couldn't immediately determine its gender.
The suspected murderer, 35-year-old Julie Corey, lived in the same apartment building and was found soon after the crime in Plymouth, New Hampshire, claiming the baby was her own.
This heart-rending story is also notorious for how the "pro-choice" media sputter and struggle to deny the humanity of a baby, even as the child is slashed away and stolen by a psychopath. I would highly doubt Corey said to bewildered onlookers, "Look at my new fetus."
And yet journalists insult this motherless baby as merely a "fetus," this their dismissive blob-of-tissue word suggesting an unborn baby is subhuman until birth, no matter how many months along in the pregnancy, and no matter how physically able it is to survive outside the womb.
CNN correspondent Jeanne Moos devoted an entire segment to the viral Obama as the Joker image on Tuesday’s Situation Room, and zeroed in on man-on-the-street reactions to it, all of whom expressed leftist horror at the picture. Moos herself suggested that “maybe it’s time to give the Joker joke a rest.” NewsBusters.org and Noel Sheppard's initial post about the posters made a brief appearance during her segment [audio from the entire segment is available here].
The correspondent, who is known for her light and sometimes humorous reports for CNN, chronicled how the Photoshop-style image of the president as Batman’s nemesis is spreading like wildfire on conservative websites, including the Drudge Report and NewsBusters. Throughout the report, she played clips of five men and six women whom the correspondent approached on a New York City street for their reaction to the Joker image. Unsurprisingly, all of the New Yorkers reacted negatively, from an “Oh my goodness” to “shame on them.” The last man stated that he was reminded of racist black-face comedy from the past, and the last woman even shouted, “It’s a right-wing spin- it’s disgraceful, and you shouldn’t even bring any attention to it.”
During this correction at the end of the 3 pm Eastern hour, Sanchez related his version of what had transpired near the end of Monday’s Newsroom program during a segment with CNN political analyst Roland Martin: “Yesterday, in trying to defend the meaning of Senator John McCain’s statement about the Republican Party being in, what he called, ‘a deep hole’- those were John McCain’s word [sic]- with Hispanics, and needing to recruit more Hispanics, as he’s telling the Republican Party- I paraphrased to my colleague Roland Martin that McCain had said the party needs to recruit ‘competent’ Hispanics. I just want to be fair about this, right? He didn’t use the word ‘competent’ when he said that.”
On Monday’s Newsroom program, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez misrepresented Senator John McCain’s words from an interview with his colleague John King on Sunday about the GOP’s outreach with Latinos. He described the Arizona Republican as recommending that “the Republican Party needs to find competent Hispanics who can fit into the party,” when McCain never used the word “competent.”
Sanchez had CNN contributor Roland Martin aboard during the final two segments of the 3 pm Eastern hour, and first played a clip from the McCain interview from Sunday’s State of the Union program, where the defeated presidential candidate warned that “unless we reverse the trend of Hispanic voter registration, we have a very, very deep hole that we’ve got to come out of.” The anchor continued that McCain “went on to say, interestingly enough, that the Republican Party needs to find competent Hispanics who can fit into the party. They need to actually recruit them -- is the word he uses.” Martin interrupted Sanchez and asked for a clarification: “Did he actually say 'competent'?” The CNN anchor replied: “Competent, they have to be competent.”
Cambridge Police Officer Sgt. Leon Lashley, the African-American cop who was with James Crowley during Crowley's arrest of Henry Louis Gates last week, is learning the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished -- especially one that involves speaking out in support of a fellow officer who happens to be white.
He's also learning that the wretches who write headlines for the Associated Press can distort his take on events in their headline in the hope that readers don't read or click over to the actual text to see how he really feels.
CNN’s Drew Griffin accused GOP Rep. Virginia Foxx on Wednesday’s Newsroom program of using a “a calculated distortion” that is “gaining credence in certain back alleys of the blogosphere” about the Democrats’ health care “reform” plan, specifically about the issue of end-of-life care for seniors. But all he did to try to disprove it was provide a link to the specific part of the legislation in question.
Griffin began to cast doubt on the Republican’s statement from the very beginning of the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. After playing a clip of Rep. Foxx, where she touted her party’s alternative proposal wouldn’t “put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government,” the CNN correspondent, filling in for anchor Rick Sanchez, promoted his upcoming segment on the remark, and first hinted that it was a false accusation on the part of the representative: “Um, are people really concerned that a new health care bill will let old people die? We’ll drill down on the facts, the fiction and possible misrepresentations swirling around the debate.”
[Update, 7:30 pm Eastern: Audio and video clips added.]
On CBS’s Late Late Show Tuesday night, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour again claimed that she was a nonpolitical entity: “I know it’s very fashionable and trendy to wear your politics on your sleeve right now, but I just don’t.” When host Craig Ferguson favorably compared her to the late Walter Cronkite, Amanpour gushed, “He was so special. I think we really will miss him” [audio clips from the interview are available here].
Towards the end of the interview, at about 22 minutes into the 1 am Eastern hour, Ferguson asked her if she about her political stance, specifically in the context of her native Iran: “What about you and politics though? Do you find yourself in accord with Ahmadinejad?” The CNN chief international correspondent tossed a question back at him: “What do you think?” When the CBS host joked that he didn’t view her as “a big Ahmadinejad-i,” Amanpour replied with her claim of objectivity: “You know...I know it’s very fashionable and trendy to wear your politics on your sleeve right now, but I just don’t.” Ferguson complimented her, but she continued that “I feel- to be very honest with you, that- that if I went and- and treated every story through my own political lens, then how is anybody to know what’s- what’s true? Or at least as close to the objective truth.”
When historians look back to identify the pivotal moments in the nation's struggle against obesity, they might point to the current period as the moment when those who influenced opinion and made public policy decided it was time to take the gloves off.
[Update, 2:15 pm Eastern: Audio and video clips from the segment added.]
HBO’s Bill Maher, after being asked during a segment on Monday’s Situation Room on CNN to explain his recent “soulless vampire bastards” moniker of the current health care system, pushed for President Obama’s “reform” plan, paraphrasing the Democrat’s own words: “We can’t do nothing- doing nothing is actually worse.” He also stood by his consistent labeling of the U.S. as a “stupid country” [audio clips available here].
Anchor Wolf Blitzer interviewed Maher for two segments starting at the bottom of the 5 pm Eastern hour. Towards the end of the first segment, Blitzer prompted the HBO host for his take on the health care debate. After playing a clip from his “Real Time” program where he used the “vampire bastards” label, Blitzer complimented Maher for the “very funny stuff” as well as the “serious element” on his program and asked, “What would you want to see emerge from this whole health care debate in Washington?” Maher echoed the Democrats’s talking points on the issue:
CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux made an apparent Freudian slip in response to a sound bite on health care reform from Senator Mitch McConnell on Monday’s American Morning. Malveaux initially labeled McConnell’s remark, in which the Senate Minority Leader cracked that the “only thing bipartisan about the measures so far is the opposition to them,” as a “snippy little phrase there” [audio clip from the segment available here].
The correspondent filed a report just after the beginning of the 6 am Eastern hour about the Obama’s administration and Democratic leaders’ efforts to get their health care “reform” package passed in Congress. Malveaux stated that “obviously, in public, there’s a lot of confidence. You heard Nancy Pelosi. You talk to White House aides....In an e-mail that I got this morning, however, one of the top White House aides was saying, look, this is a time when it’s important that the president look credible- look viable, still in this debate, and that the one thing that they are trying to get across to folks is that he is still a player in this, that he has not lost his political capital, despite the fact that he...did not get what he wanted this time around.”