While polling data show that public trust of the news media is in the single digits, the real salient issue in media bias these days is bias by omission, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Dennis Miller in an April 30 interview for the comedian's podcast program. It's what the media refuse to report on, censoring stories from public view, that helps to shield liberals from scrutiny on salient public policy issues.
"For example, the Gosnell story. The average person out there has no idea what I'm talking about when I say Gosnell," Bozell noted of the Philadelphia abortionist who allegedly killed babies who survived attempted abortions. "You don't have to be pro-life to be disgusted and feel like throwing up when you hear some of these details and yet, no coverage from the national media." [To download and listen to the full interview, click here; For information on how to subscribe to Miller's podcast, click here ]
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's attempt to keep his state's agencies from releasing detailed data on the use of the public-assistance system by the Tsarnaev family, whose sons, one dead and one in custody, are accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, appeared to be successful last week.
Ah, but Patrick, apparently feeling some heat, did agree "to release the information only to a House oversight committee where it will remain a secret." Except it's not a secret any more, at least in the aggregate, based on a report in the Boston Herald by Chris Cassidy which, based on when story comments first began appearing, went up during the middle of the afternoon today:
They must be paying by the word over at Politico. It's difficult to come up with another explanation as to why reporter Jonathan Martin would slog through about 3,100 words on an item entitled "Black pols stymied in Obama era." He could have easily summarized why this is the case in eight words: "Because Barack Obama is all about Barack Obama." Oh, he could have added a few more, namely "and everybody knows Barack Obama is all about Barack Obama."
Since he didn't limit himself, yours truly will note a few things Martin still left out, identify a few interesting points that were made, and then quote certain naive and/or inflammatory statements contained in Martin's mess.
As part of the Fox News Channel's coverage of the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Texas on Thursday, Dana Perino, co-host of the channel's “The Five” weekday program and a White House press secretary for the 43rd president, interviewed her former boss “not to break any news here” but for viewers to meet and get to know him “as I do.”
That seven-minute discussion immediately drew fire from Howard Kurtz of CNN and the liberal Daily Beast website. He asked on the Tweeter social site whether the softball interview might have made a “mockery” of Fox's coverage of the event.
At MarketWatch this morning, Paul Farrell's hostility towards Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Milton Friedman and especially free-market capitalism boiled over. Farrell claims that capitalism "is destined to destroy the world, absent a historic paradigm shift."
The problem he describes really has nothing to do with properly practiced free-market capitalism, but is instead a combination of rampant cronyism and the abandonment of capitalism's (and society's) Judeo-Christian moral underpinnings. But that's a long discussion outside the scope of this post. This post is about the opening claim Farrell makes: "Billionaires control the vast majority of the world’s wealth." No they don't.
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN's Howard Kurtz doubled down on his December column that the media needed "to be leading the conversation" on guns in the wake of Newtown. He even compared the gun debate to the conversations on civil rights and, recently, same-sex marriage. Is gun control the new civil rights movement?
Of course, Kurtz claimed objectivity although since Newtown the media have been anything but fair to gun rights advocates in the "conversation" on guns: "I would say that it's important for journalists, whether you like the phrase 'leading the conversation' or not, to push controversial issues that the politicians otherwise might prefer not to talk about."
Yet New York Times columnist Ross Douthat countered that the media is overwhelmingly one-sided when it tries to push issues into the spotlight, and pointed to the selective outrage behind the Newtown shooting versus the horror stories coming from the Gosnell trial. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
One of NPR's top member stations, WHYY in Philadelphia, home of conservative-trashing "Fresh Air" host Terry Gross, houses a large local news operation. That news operation includes the heavily taxpayer-subsidized Newsworks, which produces a daily 30-minute local newscast for WHYY, Newsworks Tonight.
On Friday’s Newsworks Tonight, Taunya English, health and science reporter for WHYY and Newsworks, actually said this of a man accused of snipping the spinal cords of babies born alive while joking about them, keeping gruesome souvenirs of the babies, and having women give birth to babies in toilets: “a physician who had worked in our community for 30 years, cared for women in all of that time." Contrast this with Newsworks’ headline about the hanging of an elephant 97 years ago in Tennessee: “Horrific case of animal cruelty basis for PIFA's 'Murderous Mary' play.”
On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew by an annualized 2.5 percent during the first quarter. Earlier today, in Part 1 of this series, (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) I showed that while most news organizations, including CNN, Bloomberg and Reuters, characterized that news as a disappointment, especially comparred to expectations of 3.0 percent or more following an awful fourth quarter of 0.4%, Martin Crutsinger and Chris Rugaber remained irrationally exuberant, not only about the "quickened" pace of growth but about prospects for higher growth in the second half of this year.
In Part 2 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), we saw how even others at the self-described Essential Global News Network disagreed with Crutsinger's and Rugaber's joint assessment. A "News Summary" item was headlined "STOCKS STALL AS GROWTH DISAPPOINTS." A report by AP Markets Writer Steve Rothwell was headlined "STOCKS STALL ON TEPID US ECONOMIC GROWTH," and forecasted slower growth during the rest of the year. There is one other key paragraph written by the pair of AP economics writers which deserves separate vetting. It follows the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew by an annualized 2.5 percent during the first quarter. As I noted in Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), three establishment press outlets (CNN, Bloomberg, and Reuters) pronounced the result "disappointing" -- but not Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, whose headline read "AFTER NEAR-STALL IN LATE 2012, US ECONOMY PICKS UP," and whose content described the economy as having "quickened its pace" as "the strongest consumer spending in two years fueled a 2.5 percent annual growth rate in the January-March quarter."
It turns out that the AP pair's enthusiasm was not only not shared at other news organizations. It wasn't even shared within AP, as will be seen after the jump.
On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew by an annualized 2.5 percent during the first quarter. The awful 0.4 percent result seen in the fourth quarter was largely sloughed off as caused by a number of one-time factors. Analysts convinced themselves that reported first-quarter growth would come in at 3.0 percent or slightly higher in Friday's release. Instead, we saw what Zero Hedge noted was the biggest such expectations miss since September 2011.
As a result, at least three establishment press organizations pronounced the result disappointing -- except for two business reporters at the Associated Press whose names are virtual fixtures here.
The left's media-echo chamber just got louder. On Thursday morning in a claimed exclusive, the Politico reported that "(Former presidential adviser and campaign official David) Plouffe will appear regularly on Bloomberg Television to offer analysis and commentary on political and business issues as they impact the intersection of Wall Street, Main Street and K Street and will lend his expertise to the discussion of technology, demographic changes and crisis management."
That day at his new place of work, in response to a "kerfuffle" over errors in an academic paper which showed that, throughout history, government debt levels have held back economic growth -- errors which the authors insisted in a New York Times op-ed did not alter the fundamental validity of their conclusions, Plouffe delivered exactly what one would expect of a "former" lead Obama apparatchik:
Bob Herbert: columnist from the Planet Benzar? Seriously, what the former New York Times op-ed writer had to say this morning is enough to make you wonder whether he occupies the same orb as the rest of us. Appearing on Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC show, Herbert literally laughed out loud at the notion that American media leans liberal. According to Herbert, the bias in the American media is "overwhelmingly" to the right.
Herbert's snicker came in response to a statement by New York Times reporter Amy Chozick, also an MH-P guest. Chozick recently wrote an article reporting on the Koch brothers' possible interest in buying the Tribune Company, which among other media outlets owns the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. According to Chozick, the brothers' interest was in part sparked by their outrage in seeing the liberal bias when they pick up American newspapers. View the video after the jump.
On Thursday for Friday's print edition, the New York Times carried a weakly headlined but well-written story entitled "U.S. Opens Spigot After Farmers Claim Discrimination" on its front page. Written by Sharon LaFraniere with the help of three others, it laid out how what began in 1997 as a class-action suit by black farmers (Pigford v. Glickman) claiming they had suffered discrimination at the hands of the U.S. Department of Agriculture "became a runaway train, driven by racial politics, pressure from influential members of Congress and law firms." Moreover, LaFraniere covered how the scope of the litigation grew "to encompass a second group of African-Americans as well as Hispanic, female and Native American farmers" to the tune of over 90,000 claims and potential ultimate taxpayer cost of over $4.4 billion, in the process morphing into a vehicle for the Obama administration to unjustifiably dole out taxpayer money to as many people and constituent groups as possible. It is worth reading the entire story, though it will make just about anyone concerned about the financial and cultural future of this nation shudder.
The Times coverage indeed "vindicates" the late Andrew Breitbart, whose Big Government blog exposed the fraud associated with Pigford, but that vindication is hardly satisfying. We're supposed to be impressed that the paper finally got around to substantively covering it, and that the paper even noted the "Public criticism (which) came primarily from conservative news outlets like Breitbart.com and from Congressional conservatives like Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, who described the program as rife with fraud." I don't see why.
Did anyone notice anything missing during Diane Sawyer’s interview with President Bush last night? She didn’t mention his surge in the polls, which was conducted by ABC News. Yes, ABC decided to omit their poll in order to have Sawyer bait President Bush with left-leaning questions, like his views on gay marriage. The American people are now giving the forty-third president a second look, and it seems to be driving liberals crazy.
On April 23, the Washington Post’s Fix blog reported that Bush’s approval ratings have hit a seven-year high. They are equal to that of President Obama’s at 47%.
In a 1,700-word report on conflict and office politics at the New York Times, the Politico's Dylan Byers omitted critical context about the apparent personality clash between Jill Abramson, the paper's executive editor, and Dean Baquet, its managing editor.
Byers could have remedied the situation by including these seven words at an appropriate point: "Baquet, who has a history of insubordination ..." This history is not a secret, as illustrated in the following writeup at the (I'm not kidding) New York Times in September 2006 (bolds are mine):
The Boston Herald has broken the story -- a scoop even the Boston Globe has acknowledged -- that "Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism."
A responsible national establishment press would treat this as an important story, because, as the Herald's Chris Cassidy noted in the understatement of the day, it "raises questions over whether Tsarnaev financed his radicalization on taxpayer money." Several paragraphs from the Herald story, followed by a look at how Todd Wallack and Beth Healy at the Globe handled their story on the family's finances, follow the jump.
Seldom have I seen so many chauvinistic statements in one place as I have in an essay found at Guardian News.com written by an author whose work has appeared in "Time, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast." I post it as a media bias item because I believe that the views stated therein explicitly and implicitly affect how the press covers so-called "women's issues."
Here is just one sample: "I do consider any Harvard Law School degree obtained by a woman who then chooses not to use it in any sort of professional capacity throughout most of her life a wasted opportunity. That degree could have gone to a woman who does want to spend her entire life using it to advance the cause of women – or others in need of advancement – not simply advancing the lives of her own family at home, which is a noble cause, but not one requiring an elite degree." Other quotes, plus the identity of the author and a link to the essay, follow the jump:
Last week, MSNBC's Chris Matthews was seen shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings wondering whether they had anything to do with "Tax Day" (which it wasn't in Massachusetts; it was Patriots' Day, a state holiday, and the tax filing deadline there was not until the next day) and asserting that "Normally domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right."
Now Matthews appears not to be interested in finding out what motivated the Tsarnaev brothers, accused of perpetrating the Boston Marathon bombings, to do what they allegedly did, as the following passage from an April 22 "Hardball" discussion with an incredulous FBI profiler found at RealClearPolitics tells us (bolds are mine):
As the Big Three –NBC, ABC, and CBS – continue to engage in, to borrow a George Will term, journalistic malpractice over ObamaCare’s adverse effects on the economy, they probably missed the development concerning Democrats who are calling for repeal of a tax which was embedded within the behemoth health care overhaul.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is ramping up her efforts to repeal the tax on medical devices that’s included in ObamaCare. The liberal Talking Points Memo reported today that it’s building upon a vote last month,where the majority of Senate Democrats voted with their GOP colleagues to repeal the tax. Klobuchar, of course, voted for ObamaCare. But wait, there's more discontent from Democratic ranks, with Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus warning of a coming "train wreck" when ObamaCare is scheduled for full implementation in 2014.
Both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News, the latter crediting wire service assistance, have reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the now deceased older brother accused of committing the Boston Marathon bombings, was thrown out of a service at the Islamic Society of Boston, the Cambridge mosque he attended, about three months ago. I wonder if anyone in the media will notice the terror-connected history of the ISB? It's right there for anyone who cares to look for it.
First, quoting the Times story by Andrew Tangel and Ashley Powers:
On his podcast Friday, as the networks were going wall-to-wall with live coverage of Boston, comedian and pundit Adam Carolla questioned whether Boston coverage was excessive. Matt Wilstein at Mediaite transcribed the conversation, which should be a journalism-school topic in the weeks to come.
“Boston is three people dead, and quite a few injured,” Carolla said, “but it’s three people dead. There’s that many people during the course of this podcast, that many people times ten that die out on the highways.” Meanwhile, he pointed out, the death toll in the Texas explosion was up to 15 or higher.
On April 4, the Associated Press' Christopher Rugaber wrote: "Gone are the fears that the economy could fall into another recession."
Having in effect announced the repeal of the business cycle for the foreseeable future, despite the fact that the economy's post-recession job recovery performance has been the worst since World War II by miles, it seems that Rugaber is now doing his best to prop up his assertion with shaky claims about the meaning of government economic reports. That would include the second sentence of his opening paragraph of his dispatch on Thursday's report on jobless claims from the government's Department of Labor (bolds are mine):
On April 18, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll that showed 51% of Americans feel that guns in the home make it safer, compared to 29% who think otherwise. More telling is that fact that 51% of white middle class women agree with the sentiment about firearms making homes safer. Additionally, a Nexis search detailed that ABC News has yet to report this poll, and, with the exception of the Fix blog online, thePost's print edition avoided the “guns make a home safer” findings.
So, will there a correction to Jill Filipovic, Amanda Marcotte, and Co. for trying to smear the NRA as the “domestic abuse lobby? The article by New York Times’ Michael Luo that set off this meretricious commentary on guns looks like to have been a smear too far. After all, it wasn’t “intense pressure” the gun lobby that killed Obama’s anti-gun agenda. It was white middle-class women, who liked their Second Amendment rights to be left untouched by big government.
The brief AP report's third paragraph then has Menino saying, again in AP's words, that "another person was taken into custody" after "a pipe bomb was found in another location." This apparent inconsistency seems to be an attempt by the mayor to minimize the degree of homegrown "sleeper cell" concerns, especially in light of reports containing a cascade of contradicting details which follow the jump.
Salon's David Sirota, who on Tuesday wrote a column called "Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American" and doubled down on Wednesday with "I still hope the bomber is a white American" (respectively noted by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters here and here), has predictably continued his incoherent rants. In a subsequent column, he wrote about how the "Boston aftermath brings out America’s worst prejudices." In his latest offering, with no sense of irony, circus clown Sirota tells readers that "we can't let ourselves get swept up in the media circuses that follow" (I'm not going to link to either example of dreadful dreck; readers with strong stomachs can plug the items in quotes just noted into a web search).
Apparently attempting to poison the national discussion in multimedia fashion, Sirota tweeted his belief on Thursday that any conservative who sympathizes with and supports the people of Boston and Massachusetts during this difficult time must be a hypocrite (HT Twitchy.com):
To be clear, this criticism is not of President Obama. It is directed at the Associated Press's Jim Kuhnhenn, who seems to think that the impact of any and all events in the nation and the world on the status of Obama's "presidency" is more important than any other consideration.
Brian Stelter, media reporter for the New York Times, foisted his peculiar news judgment on Fox News, weighing President Obama's petulant remarks after the defeat of his gun control plans as more newsworthy than a fire at a Texas fertilizer plant that has killed at least 12 people and injured up to 200.
With the monumental collapse of the president’s anti-gun agenda, many are wondering if both sides will “go back into their corners” on gun control. Every single measure in this new bill failed, which elicited the wrath of the president yesterday in the Rose Garden. During the April 17 broadcast of the PBS NewsHour, Gwen Ifill asked why these measures failed to pass, mentioned the popularity of background checks, and failed to press Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on past statements about how this bill really wouldn’t have prevented Sandy Hook ergo more mass shootings.
In fairness, Ifill also had Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from Conneticut, on the program to discuss the failed bill. While he said his organization supported some of the amendments in the bill, they couldn’t back it due to the background check provision, noting it would have harmed gun sellers who rely heavily on weekend sales, when most customers come to their stores [emphasis mine]:
Our taxpayer dollars seem to be at work finding the culprit of the Boston terror attack last Monday. But on taxpayer-funded NPR, counterterrorism reporter Dina Temple-Raston was already guessing this was domestic not foreign. “The thinking, as we've been reporting, is that this is a domestic or extremist attack,” Temple-Raston declared on the April 16 All Things Considered.
So, besides the pressure cooker bomb, whose directions on building it can be found on the Internet, what evidence shows that this is probably domestic terrorism? Where’s the manifesto? Who’s claimed responsibility? All are question marks at this point, so what’s with the incessant speculation by some in the media. Yes, it could be a crazy right-winger, or an al-Qaeda operative, but what ever happened to a simple narrative of there was a bombing, it’s awful, people died, and federal authorities are investigating the matter? But Temple-Raston heavily implied this matches with past acts of right wing – and domestic – terror:
Yesterday 72 congressmen sent letters to the executives at the news divisions of ABC, CBS, and NBC expressing that they were "profoundly appalled" at the broadcast networks censoring the Kermit Gosnell murder trial and the official testimony by a Planned Parenthood representative in Florida opposing a law to stiffen criminal penalties on abortionists who fail to provide medical care to babies who survive abortion attempts.
The effort was organized by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Steve Scalise (R-La.) and joined by 70 of their colleagues. You can read more at Blackburn's official House.gov website here. [Update: Only one Democratic congressman, Dan Lipinski of Illinois, joined in on the letter.]