ABC's Marcus Baram is reporting that Democratic Senators Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Kent Conrad (N.D.) "had their home loans handled by [Countrywide Financial's] VIP desk, where a team of loan officers would work out favorable terms in conjunction with [CEO Angelo] Mozilo, according to two former Countrywide executives."
The story made the "top headlines" lineup for the afternoon of June 13, along with a headline tease for recent video from Fox News Channel where an onscreen graphic labeled the mother of two as Sen. Obama's "baby mama." Online slang lexicon urbandictionary.com defines a baby mama as "The mother of your child(ren), whom you did not marry and with whom you are not currently involved."
The "Michelle Obama 2.0" article begins by regaling readers with a look at life in the Obama household as given by Barack and Michelle on a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio. The Illinois senator joked about his wife speaking more endearingly of him on the campaign trail than she does behind closed doors:
"She never says such nice things about me at home!" he smiles. "I really enjoy listening to her praise me like that because when I get home she'll remind me that I didn't make the bed."
The article then continued by contrasting the domestic bliss of the young Obamas with those mean ol' conservatives dead-set on stopping the presumptive Democratic nominee by gunning for Mrs. O.:
In Wednesday's off-lead story by Michael Cooper and Larry Rohter, the New York Times found both McCain and Obama retreating to home base when it comes to economic solutions. But the Times' unconscious embrace of liberal conventional wisdom was evident in how it treated much-argued political terms like "windfall profits", "the death tax," and even "victory" in Iraq.
Bush's mild tax cuts were seen as only benefiting "the wealthy" (by whose definition?), an assertion the Times underlined by repeating it three times.
And look how the Times used quotation marks as warning flares or to suggest a conservative position was dubious. While "victory" and "death tax" were seen as partisan Republican terms and secured in protective quotes, Democrat-loaded terms like "windfall profits of oil companies" weren't put in quotes but stood unencumbered and presented as fact, even though the phrase "windfall" is calculated to make it appear oil company profits are somehow unjust or unearned.
Conservative criticism of Michelle Obama has no merit whatsoever and serves only as an outlet of right-wing hatred. That's the impression that Los Angeles Times reporter Robin Abcarian leaves readers with his June 11 story, "The GOP takes aim at Michelle Obama.":
They loved to hate Hillary Rodham Clinton. They loved to hate Teresa Heinz Kerry. And now, it appears, conservative voices are energetically taking on Michelle Obama.
"Mrs. Grievance" bellowed the cover of a recent National Review, which featured a photo of a fierce-looking Obama. The magazine's online edition titled an essay about her stump speech "America's Unhappiest Millionaire."
Michelle Malkin, the popular conservative blogger, called her "Obama's bitter half."
Blame do-nothing Republicans for high gas prices. That was the impression visitors to ABCNews.com got this afternoon.
Among the "top headlines" lineup Web site editors included a story on "Fueling Anger" with the teaser headline: "Rejected! Big Oil Tax Gets Shelved." [see related post about CBSNews.com's bias here]
The accompanying caption to the ABC photo illustration read, "With prices soaring, GOP halts Democrats' wide-ranging energy plan."
The article itself, by writer Z. Byron Wolf, was front-loaded with bias, slamming Republicans for their filibuster of a new windfall profits tax measure while dismissing the GOP's energy plan as ineffective in the short term (emphases mine):
"Republicans Block Taxes on Big Oil Profits" blares the teaser headline on the front page of CBSNews.com. Under a graphic of the Capitol dome and a fuel gauge nearing empty, the caption reads "Senate GOP Stops Dems' Effort To Rein In Profits Of Largest Oil Companies As Gas Prices Soar."
That's a lot of bias packed into 24 words, and that's before the reader gets to the actual article. Notice the lack of cynicism as to the motive of the Democrats, who are painted on the side of consumers against industry, although the primary beneficiary of a windfall tax would be, well, the Democratic Congress.
There are limits to what you can properly communicate in a headline, but a more neutral treatment might have been: "Republicans Block Advance of Oil Profit Tax: Democrats say tax will encourage alternative fuel research, Republicans argue it will worsen energy problems."
In the AP/CBS article itself, oil industry claims that a windfall tax is counterproductive were summarily dismissed with a populist soundbite by a Democratic politician:
But NBC/MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell has since apologized for her off-the-cuff remark from last Thursday. Reports TVNewser:
MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell apologized today for calling southwest Virginia, "real redneck" country. Toward the end of her 1pmET hour, she said, "I owe an apology to the good people of Bristol, Virginia for something stupid that I said."
Barack Obama, liberal? Surely you jest. Rachel Maddow found the suggestion so silly, she literally burst out laughing. The Air America host was part of this evening's panel on Race for the White House. David Gregory couldn't complete his reading of Rich Lowry's take on Obama before Maddow let loose.
DAVID GREGORY: Let's go to Smart Take #2. This is Rich Lowry from National Review Online, he's also talking [in a NY Post column] about Obama [emphasis added]:
Obama represents a rejection of triangulating Clintonism. He had no Sister Souljah moment during the primaries. Indeed, he initially embraced his Sister Souljah, in the form of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, introduced to the public in videotaped anti-American rants. Nor did Obama make any creative policy departures, like Clinton's advocacy of welfare reform in 1992. Obama is the fullest flowering of liberal orthodoxy since George McGovern. And yet his candidacy might not be electoral suicide. He has formidable gifts as a politician; he's eloquent, winsome, a quick study. He confronts a Republican Party that, beset by intellectual exhaustion, congressional scandal and an unpopular incumbent president, teeters on the verge of a Watergate-style meltdown. So Democrats contemplate the delicious prospect of having their purity and victory, too.
As Gregory speaks the words "Obama is the fullest flowering of liberal orthodoxy since George McGovern," Maddow can be heard laughing off camera. When Maddow's turn came to comment, she tried to make the case that Obama doesn't make it as a real liberal.
The Associated Press has an 11-paragraph story that dutifully buries Marzilli's party affiliation in the very last paragraph.:
Corey Welford, a spokesman for Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone, said Marzilli is accused of approaching a woman who was sitting on a park bench, making an "inappropriate comment" and attempting to touch her in a sexual manner, which she forcibly resisted.
In yet another in the series of "guess the missing party label" we once again present the case of imprisoned former Broward County (Fla.) sheriff Ken Jenne. As we have seen before, the South Florida news media is extremely reluctant to apply a party label to the disgraced Jenne, who was convicted of mail fraud and tax evasion while in office, despite the fact that the Broward sheriff office is most most important political post in the county. A hint as to what is Jenne's political label is the fact that if he had been a Republican, we would have seen that fact in almost every news story about him.
Let us now watch the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reporter, Vanessa Blum, give us a somewhat tender account of inmate No. 77434-004:
ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday again investigated the issue of whether sexism has handicapped Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. To do so, reporter Claire Shipman featured a video from the Women's Media Center, a group partnered with the left-wing organization Media Matters. The video featured clips of various journalists harshly attacking Clinton. Shipman didn't mention the connection to Media Matters and simply described the organization as one that "doesn’t endorse a specific candidate" and "has put together a greatest hits video called 'Sexism Sells.'"
In fact, the WMC's website describes the group as "as a non-partisan, non-profit progressive women's media organization [founded] by the writers/activists Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem." Is it not incumbent on ABC to identify the group's liberal outlook and its connection to Media Matters? At the beginning of the piece, co-host Diane Sawyer solemnly intoned that the possible end of the New York senator's presidential quest "has the Clinton campaign crying foul and even raising questions of sexism. Did that play a role in this campaign?"
But the truly "stark contrast" was how Lewis treated the respective camps with regard to their hypothetical Supreme Court nominations. Lewis painted an uninvolved McCain as paying "fealty" to "the conservative faithful," while an engaged Obama would be merely trying to reverse the "current conservative dominance of the courts" without displaying any liberal ideological thrust of his own.
Back in 2003, Lewis identified Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch as a "leading conservative," but Sen. Ted Kennedy was simply "Democrat of Massachusetts."
His Wednesday report showed a similar contrast, with tons of "conservatives" (18 in all in a 1,400-word story) emanating from the McCain camp but not a single "liberal" to be found around Obama.
Identity theft, defrauding the federal government, and illegal immigration are serious criminal matters.
But if you're the Web editor for MSNBC.com, stolen Social Security numbers are merely "shared" with "undocumented workers" stuck in a web of "federal employment laws."
From the subheadline for the front page tease to the May 27 edition of "Red Tape Chronicles" (see screencap above at right):
Millions of Americans find themselves sharing Social Security identies with others, mostly undocumented workers looking to get around federal employment laws.
Of course, you're lucky if just one person is "sharing" your Social Security Number (SSN). MSNBC.com blogger Bob Sullivan noted one Chicago woman who had 37 other people fraudulently claiming her number. Yet at no point in his 33-paragraph post did Sullivan describe the claiming of other people's SSNs as "fraud." What's more, Sullivan turned to an "immigration rights advocate" who painted the illegal immigrant fraudsters themselves as victims:
Also see the compare-and-contrast example in the final paragraph.
A city councilman in Lorain, Ohio, a city of about 75,000 west of Cleveland, was arrested during a prostitution sting on Friday.
Of the six stories I found covering the event (the Google News search is for May 22-26), only one referred to the political party of councilman Dennis Flores, who is a Democrat (scroll down to "Second Ward Council;" HT to an e-mailer).
The Cleveland Plain Dealer set the tone for ignoring Flores's party ID, with a Saturday Breaking Metro Blog entry and Sunday story, which presumably made the print edition. Each story notes that Flores "serves as captain of his block watch."
While two others who gave the story attention without providing a party identification for Flores could perhaps be excused because they only gave it five or six paragraphs (specifically, Cleveland's WEWS and WKYC.com), writer Scott Allyn at the Morning Journal, whose main office is in Lorain, clearly had to go out of his way to avoid naming Flores's party. In the process, he also failed to identify the party affiliation of the mayor and two other city council members:
The Cold War wasn't really a war per se but a decades-long struggle with the Soviets and their proxies, yet it was not and is not tagged dismissively in print news media as the "Cold War." Yet the same convention was not followed recently in the pages of the Washington Post when it comes to the Global War on Terrorism in the Washington Post.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is a drug-trafficking terrorist group that has vexed Colombia's government and citizenry for years. Yet the T-word was missing from a May 19 CNN.com article regarding the surrender of FARC Force 47 commander Nelly Avila Moreno, although Colombia's recent military pressure was cited by Moreno as the cause of her surrender:
[Moreno] said she and her longtime male companion made the decision jointly to abandon the FARC group, based in the jungle, at 5 a.m. Sunday.
She said pressure from Colombian soldiers had been key to their decision, and she called on her fellow rebels to follow her example.
"I invite them to change the sensibility that is among the guerrillas," she said, seated by her companion, who said nothing during the news conference.
CNN went on to note that Moreno, whose "nom de guerre was Karina," may be personally responsible for a bus hijacking and arson in 2004, as well as the maiming of a passenger on that bus:
Riots in the street or no, Denver might be the place to be this August, if only for August Ritter's sweet Convention after-parties.
DenverPost.com has an article, complete with photos, delving into Gov. Bill Ritter's (D) son reveling with friends at a December 2007 boozefest in the Governor's Mansion. The only rules of said party, the Post noted citing an invitation, were "no throwing up" and "no sexy time."
The one thing lacking from reporter Karen Crummy's story: Gov. Ritter's political affiliation.
The party label is arguably germane to the story. After all Ritter spokesman Evan Dreyer defended August Ritter's revelry, which suggests Ritter has a cavalier attitude about his son's disregard of and disrespect for the taxpayer-owned mansion.:
Although a November ballot measure could encourage higher turnout by conservatives who are not naturally aligned with McCain, it also could alienate moderates and young voters, who polls show are far more accepting of same-sex marriage.
Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had sketched out a more centrist path than the court's. The decision could encourage Democratic interest groups to press candidates to extend their support for civil unions to same-sex marriage itself.
So the danger for McCain is that those rascally social conservatives could doom his chances to win the White House. The danger for Democrats, that the left-wing activists might rattle the cage a bit more than usual. But the possibility of socially conservative but fiscally liberal Democrats in swing states like Ohio, West Virginia, Missouri, or Colorado once again eluding the Democratic vote was dismissed out of hand.
The future of conservatism is something which has become something of a hot topic. It's become evident to many that the historical moment that made the so-called Reagan coalition possible has passed, raising the inevitable question: where do we go from here? Has the right lost its way? Should conservatism be dependent upon the Republican party? What sorts of ideas should 21st century conservatism project?
These are just a few of the topics I asked Jonah Goldberg in Part II of our NewsBusters Interview with the author of "Liberal Fascism." See the partial transcript below or download an audio copy. Here's Part I in case you missed it.
On May 13, John McCain supporter John Hagee issued an apology to the Catholic League for controversial anti-Catholic comments he's made in the past. "Catholic League President William Donoghue [sic] accepted the apology," noted Washington Post's Michael D. Shear in the midst of his 8-paragraph story published the following day.
Shear closed by noting that "[n]ot all Catholics were mollified" by Hagee's letter of apology, citing "Alexia Kelley, executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good." Shear failed to label Kelley nor the Alliance as liberal, although a visit to their Web site makes it pretty clear their political agenda skews in favor of liberal Democratic social welfare initiatives.
But more telling is this: Kelley used to work for the DNC during the Kerry campaign as Director of Religious Outreach. Catholic or no, it's not all that surprising that the former liberal Democratic Party staffer would refuse to let the Hagee matter drop in a tense election year when presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has his own share of problems, to say the least, with loopy clergymen in his corner.
The political correctness of the New York Times oozed between the lines of a front-page article Tuesday on Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), a "master of the one-liner, a self-described ‘left-handed gay Jew.’" The headline was "A Liberal Wit Builds Bridges To the G.O.P.," and reporter David M. Herszenhorn celebrated the "trademark wit" that compared conservatives’ lack of enthusiasm for government intervention to his lack of enthusiasm for the Miss America pageant.
In a sidebar headlined "A Way With Words," the Times celebrates Frank’s wit in lobbying for the gay agenda, like a 2006 quote that "same-sex marriage is the V-8 juice of America," mocking the opposition of the religious right as if straight married men would greet the court-mandated legalization of "gay marriage" in Massachusetts with the declaration "Wow, I could have married a guy."
Along with racist, the word fascist is one of the most common epithets you hear tossed around. Has the constant repetition of the word made it lose its meaning? Does anyone really know what it means? These are questions that Jonah Goldberg seeks to answer in his #1 best-selling book "Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning."
If you haven't picked up a copy yet, this is one book you need to buy.
As part of our tradition of bringing you in-depth interviews with America's political leaders, I took the opportuntity to speak by phone with Goldberg about "Liberal Fascism." Our conversation is quite extensive but well worth the read. Given the length of the interview (which is available in audio format as well as transcript), I've broken it down into two portions: the first in which Goldberg discusses his many leftist critics including his confrontation with comedian Jon Stewart, and the second in which Goldberg discusses conservatism and where he believes it's headed. This is the first installment. Read the transcript below or download an audio copy.
What part of "free" in "free-market" does the Associated Press not understand?
The news wire's Glen Johnson is reporting today that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) plans on unveiling a plan to combat global climate change "while adhering to free-market principles."
McCain's major solution is to implement a cap-and-trade program on carbon-fuel emissions, like a similar program in the Clean Air Act that was used to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions that triggered acid rain.
Industries would be given emission targets, and those coming in under their limit could sell their surplus polluting capacity to companies unable to meet their target.
A cap-and-trade programs would certainly be a market, but it would be an artificial one imposed on manufacturers by government fiat. The key word in free-market being of course, free.
It would be correct to call a voluntary cap-and-trade program created by industry groups outside the pressure of government regulation a "free-market" solution, but the component of force by government here only puts an Adam Smith happy face on a Karl Marx mandate.
In a remarkable example of "Name that Party," the Associated Press, in an unbylined report about the beginning of his divorce trial appearing in USA Today, failed to name the party of former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, who resigned in 2005, or of his former "male staffer."
Beyond that, AP did not accurately describe the circumstances that triggered McGreevey's resignation.
Here's how the report began (bold is mine; HT to an e-mailer):
After two tell-all books, tawdry sex claims and 3½ years of living apart, New Jersey's gay ex-governor and his estranged wife showed up for court Tuesday morning to begin the process of ending their marriage.
..... The issues to be decided in the divorce settlement involve custody, alimony and child support, and whether McGreevey, now openly gay, committed fraud by marrying a woman.
As readers of NewsBusters are no doubt aware, we've tracked how the media have regularly refused to acknowledge the political party affiliation of indicted Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D).
Well, today, Associated Press reporter Julie Carr Smyth did acknowledge Kilpatrick is a Democrat, albeit in a roundabout sort of way in an article about Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann being the latest in a series of Democrats to find themselves in legal hot water due to sexual indiscretion.
Oh, you've never heard of Dann? That may be because the Ohio AG's scandal lacks the tech savvy of text messages or the sleaze factor of high-priced call girls. But now that it appears that the nuclear option of impeachment may come into play, Time.com is picking up on AP's May 6 article:
The debate over a gas tax holiday has caught the attention of all three presidential candidates as well as the media. Last night, CBS "Evening News" said 150 economists had signed a petition against the cut and quoted one saying "it isn't sound economic policy."
But that list includes several prominent liberal economists, some who have also opposed the Bush tax cuts and pushed for a higher minimum wage in other petitions. The list featured economists from liberal groups such at the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, as well as several former Clinton staffers.
Reporter Priya David didn't mention any political affiliations or leanings for those opposed to the gas tax holiday. "But last week some 150 economists signed a petition saying it's a bad idea," she said.
Well, we've played "Name That Party" so often that it is getting to be old hat. How many times have we seen it where the MSM refuses to mention that a Democrat is the troubled politician in the news? We've also said many times that if only that criminal politician were a Republican, why we'd get the party mentioned ASAP. We say it and accept the claim as fact, but we don't often focus on examples to prove our case. Our detractors point to that and say "prove it!"
Call this one more example of proof.
It seems that Mike Krusee a REPUBLICAN State Representative from Williamson County, Texas got himself pulled over after a night of hittin' the hooch. Of course, we know he is a Republican because the MSM fell all over itself to let us know the fact. Curiously, Krusee is the same fellow who helped up the fines for drunk driving in the state house, the MSM also let us know.
Once again, the New York Times is expecting American taxpayers to care not only about the plight of illegal immigrants, but on the hardship imposed on their families back in Latin America because of the fitful U.S. crackdown on illegal immigration.
The State of Israel turns 60 years old this May, but rather than highlighting the nation's survival in a hostile region over six decades, U.S. News & World Report aimed to focus on discontent from Israeli Arabs, and to suggest that Israel's sovereignty was in and of itself the cause of "six ensuing decades of bloody conflicts."