Christian Toto, Washington Times entertainment reporter, dropped us a note about the upcoming release of a direct to DVD movie called, "I Could Never Be Your Woman." This flick that wasn't ranked high enough by the studio to get a theatrical release stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd, and Saoirse Ronan. It's supposed to be a love triangle comedy flick, but close to the end of the thing is included a slam on President Bush that has nothing at all to do with the rest of the movie and is blatant for its gratuitous nature.
As Mr. Toto has it this "nasty bit of Bush bashing" is at about 98 percent through the film and occurs during a scene where young Miss Ronan is playing the part of a teenaged talent show contestant.
Ronan's character takes the stage for a student talent show and starts strumming a song to the tune of Alanis Morissette's "Ironic."
Then Mr. Toto gives us the faux lyrics of this Bush bashing tune...
You know, words mean things, right? That having been said, the Washington Post today employed a subtle wording in a headline that turns people who stand against illegal immigration into people who hate the immigrants themselves. In their February 23rd piece, the Post headlined a report on illegal immigration in Maryland with a grave "Anti-Immigrant Effort Takes Hold in Md." With that headline, you'd expect the story to be revealing Marylanders who are against a certain block of people. But, as you read the story, you'll find that no one interviewed is saying they hate the immigrants. They are however, saying they are upset with untrammeled illegal entrance into this country. So, in the end, the story is about being pro-lawful immigration, and not about any hate for the immigrants themselves.
Even the subhead makes it seem as if the efforts of folks in Maryland to stop illegal immigration is directed at the immigrants themselves. "Grass-Roots Movement Expands Beyond Montgomery in Targeting the Undocumented," the Post claims. Yet, again, nowhere in the story are any of those interviewed saying they are against people. What they are for is an enforcement of our laws and new laws to stop people from breaking our immigration laws. What they are against is lawlessness.
Is the New York Times attack on John McCain causing conservatives to start supporting the likely GOP nominee or is this more of an anti-Times thing than anything else?
NewsBusters executive editor Matthew Sheffield is among those discussing the topic in today's edition of the Times:
Operating on the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, many conservatives who had long distrusted Mr. McCain on a variety of issues, including his peculiar fondness for talking to reporters for hours on end, rallied to see him at war with a newspaper they revile as a voice of the left. (In fact, Mr. McCain said only that he was “disappointed” with the newspaper, and left the incendiary attacks to his [campaign] surrogates.) [...]
On Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, former CBS News correspondent and current FNC analyst Bernard Goldberg pointed out the New York Times has historically had a double standard of reporting allegations of sex scandals by Republicans while downplaying or delaying reports of sex scandals by Bill Clinton. Before Bill O'Reilly clarified that while the Times did cover Gennifer Flowers, but "years and years and years after the fact," Goldberg complained: "The New York Times showed virtually no interest in Bill Clinton and Gennifer Flowers. It showed absolutely no front page interest in allegations by a reputable businesswoman named Juanita Broaddrick, who said that, when Bill Clinton was attorney general of Arkansas, he raped her. ...
Back on August 28 we posted the sad story of the death of a motorcycle policeman who was killed while in service as a motorcade escort for president George W. Bush. What brought the story to our attention was the shocking way that Time Magazine reported the story. With a headline that blared "Bush Motorcade Kills Cop," Time made it appear that the officer died as a result of... well, President Bush.
Well, today, we have a similar story to report. A motorcycle policeman was killed today while in service as a motorcade escort for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The previous incident was headlined as if Bush was responsible for the unfortunate death, but today's Time headline was not so harsh in its tone when a Clinton was involved. "Officer Killed Escorting Clinton," is how Time magazine reported this incident.
There is no need to play the parlor game, "What party is this person a member of?" with this Associated Press story by Lara Jakes Jordan (Feb. 23 Note: The original link from AP's hosted.ap.org site was changed; the story link now goes to Jordan's story carried at SignOnSanDiego.com. Jordan's report has been saved for future reference at BizzyBlog's host for fair use and discussion purposes):
Congressman Charged in Land Deal
Republican Rep. Rick Renzi was indicted Friday on charges of extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other matters in an Arizona land swap scam that allegedly helped him collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs.
A 26-page federal indictment unsealed in Tucson, Ariz., accuses Renzi and two former business partners of embezzlement and conspiring to promote the sale of land that buyers could swap for property owned by the federal government.
From Elisabeth Bumiller's New York Times follow-up article of today [emphasis added]:
Later in the day, one of Mr. McCain’s senior advisers directed strong criticism at The Times in what appeared to be a deliberate campaign strategy to wage a war with the newspaper. Mr. McCain is deeply distrusted by conservatives on several issues, not least because of his rapport with the news media, but he could find common ground with them in attacking a newspaper that many conservatives revile as a left-wing publication.
Let me get this straight. The Times has run an article relying on anonymous, disgruntled former associates as sources, dredging up old stories and making base accusations with no hard evidence in support. But it's McCain who's waging war?
Guilt by association, that's the trick that the AP just pulled on the wife of GOP presidential candidate John McCain. In a story about the non-story du jour, AP writer Libby Quaid has placed Cindy McCain in with jilted political wives of the likes of Hillary Clinton, Suzanne Craig, Dina McGreevey, and Carlita Kilpatrick. They even reached back into the graveyard of political careers and dug up Lee Hart, wife of Donna Rice's paramour Gary Hart.
The AP got all weepy eyed over how Cindy McCain "did not hesitate" to step forward to take "her place in the history of political wives who stood by their men in the face of rumored or alleged marital infidelity." The AP then states her first lines as "Well, obviously I'm disappointed." AP thinks this is interesting because, "A coterie of wives has confronted the public pain of such an accusation. Smaller still is the band who, like Cindy McCain, have spoken out."
As the AP begins the story, you'd think that John McCain is exactly the same as Bill Clinton or Gary Hart... in other words guilty of screwin' around on his wife. Even the way they quote Cindy McCain could be taken as that she is "disappointed" in her husband if the reader stops there!
"Chavez inspires left but [is] no icon," insists the headline for a February 21 story by Reuters reporter Frank Jack Daniel. Daniel took time to examine what role Chavez could play in rallying Latin American leftists now that the Fidel Castro has kindly retired to let little hermano Raul take the wheel for a while indefinitely.
Daniel practically makes Chavez sound like the Barack Obama of Latin American Marxism: nice image, but still needs more experience:
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's red beret-wearing President Hugo Chavez has inspired a new generation of Latin American leftists but has a ways to go to achieve the heroic status awarded to his iconic friend Fidel Castro.
Cheap Shots Fit to PrintThis would make even the Daily Kos and MoveOn.org blush.
Well, maybe not. But still, ... .
The New York Times on Wednesday evening went to the web with "For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk", an innuendo-filled and fact-deprived 3,000 word ramble on the 1999 professional interactions between now virtually certain Republican Presidential nominee John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman. They then extrapolated the unproven impropriety of this alleged "relationship" into a broader questioning of McCain's ethics.
Both McCain and Iseman flatly deny the affair. Their refutation, and the Times' protracted inability to gather any evidence to the contrary, should in no way have served to prevent them from levying the accusation in long form print, apparently.
At least when the National Enquirer prints unsubstantiated garbage, they go with new stories, MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued today on the Fox News Channel. Bozell was referring to the New York Times publishing a front page article on a 10-year old rumor regarding presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and lobbyist Vicki Iseman.
This report by Scientific American is a hoot for its blatant hypocrisy. With the title of their piece, "Getting Duped: How Media Messes With Your Mind,", it appears that Scientific American is trying to set itself up as the bringers of truth to all those confused by the "surreptitiously" misleading media. Their piece is ostensibly a warning on how the media is misleading us all. Their subtitle even declares how they are about to tell us of the media's misconduct.
Statements made in the media can surreptitiously plant distortions in the minds of millions. Learning to recognize two commonly used fallacies can help you separate fact from fiction
So, with that, what would you expect from the rest of the piece? Perhaps some examples of how the media misleads us? Maybe a few New York Times lies, or gaffs from network news outlets, or even the cable news stations? If you would expect examples of media lies in a story sold as one about the media, you'd be disappointed because all the examples Sci. Amer. gives us are from politicians and commentators, not the media. And guess what else? Nearly all the examples of "lies," "misleading statements," and "straw man arguments" are from Republicans and/or conservatives.
A story that mildly resembles today's McCain "scoop" came four years ago, the charge that young AP reporter Alexandra Polier may have had an affair with John Kerry. No proof emerged. How did the New York Times cover that charge?
On February 17, 2004, on page A-19, the Times ran a 434-word piece by reporter Jim Rutenberg, one of the four reporters on the McCain story today. The rumor had a "vibrant life on the Internet," but not in the New York Times. Here it is:
MEXICO CITY, Feb. 20 -- They've traveled the world. Surfed the Web. Zinged text messages. And watched news direct from the BBC and CNN, rather than filtered through a government censor.
Bombarded by ideas from abroad, a generation of Cuban political leaders who came of age after Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution is preparing to inherit it. Many of them, now in their 40s and 50s, have developed a more open political outlook than their fathers, partly because of the thriving black market in outlawed Internet connections that in Cuba have cracked open a window on the world.
MSNBC has cited and discussed the press release issued today by Brent Bozell, President of NB's parent Media Research Center, excoriating the New York Times for its article on John McCain. The discussion came during the network's post-press conference analysis of McCain's appearance this morning.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Let me interrupt. This is interesting. Mika just handed me a Blackberry quote here. Chris Matthews, earlier this morning Tim Russert asked the question how would conservatives respond to this? Would they rally behind John McCain, against the New York Times, or would they go ahead and finish off John McCain? I've got this press release. Brent Bozell on the New York Times, quote, politically motivated hit job:
It is beyond appalling that the New York Times continues its steady slide into the journalistic toilet with such a spurious, and so patently motivated, hit job.
There has been significant speculation in the MSM that an upshot of the NYT's McCain piece could be to rally support for McCain from conservatives like Rush Limbaugh who heretofore have been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic about the Arizona senator.
Typical was this exchange from today's Good Morning America, which followed an appearance by McCain campaign advisor Charlie Black.
NBC Channel 10 News of Philadelphia, PA has given us a perfect example of how the media misuses words in order to illegitimately blame things and people who are otherwise blameless. This particular story really shows how the media manipulates... or is, perhaps, just plain illiterate at the very least.
The headline begins us on our journey of media manipulation and nonsense. With the proclamation that "French Fries To Blame For SEPTA Station Gang Beating", we are supposed to be informed that "French fries" are at fault for a beating. I guess it wasn't the gang-banger punks that were responsible, huh? It was the "French fries"? Already the news piece shies blame away from the humans responsible to an inanimate object; the French fries (a favorite poly in the "gun violence" meme, by the way).
Oh, but it doesn't stop with just an illogical, misleading headline. The very first few paragraphs caries us further on our journey into absurdity.
In a July 12th NewsBusters article I noted that the Chicago Sun-Times made a move to revitalize their diminishing subscription numbers by turning back time and returning to its liberal roots. That sentiment was captured by Cheryl L. Reed in a statement she made after being promoted from the paper's book editor to the new editorial page editor.
We are returning to our liberal, working-class roots, a position that pits us squarely opposite the Chicago Tribune -- that Republican, George Bush-touting paper over on moneyed Michigan Avenue. We're rethinking our stance on several issues, including the most pressing issue facing Americans today: Bush's war in Iraq.
Los Angeles Times's L.A. Now blog today picked up on reporter/former L.A. mayoral mistress Mirthala Salinas:
Her rise through the ranks at Telemundo was swift. Her fall following the disclosure of an affair with Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of our fair city, was a spectacle. And now she's back - on the radio this time. Hoyinternet.com is the first with the news:
Here is a story that is fairly recent and it is perfect for our ongoing game of "Democrat or Not." One Susan Freeman, a secretary in the office of North Carolina's Attorney General has been hauled in after a routine traffic stop by police in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She wasn't driving on an expired license, didn't even have a broken tail light. But she did have $150,000 in illegal drugs -- 31 pounds of marijuana and one and a half pounds of cocaine -- hidden in her car.
So far, I've seen two reports about this incident, both from TV websites. NBC 17 from Raleigh/Durham gives us an account and so does News9 of Oklahoma City. Both stories mention that this Susan Freeman works in the NC Attorney General's office, but neither name that politician or his party.
Update 14:16 | Matthew Sheffield. The level of excusing and tip-toeing around the truth about Castro is staggering. As of 2:13 ET when you do a Google News search for "Fidel Castro" you come up with 7,520 results. Add the word dictator after it and you come back with 1,417. That's 81 percent less.
Just a few headlines from major newspapers as Fidel Castro has called it quits as dictator:
Castro resigns, ending era in Cuba (LATimes.com front page)
None of those articles directly referred to Castro as a dictator. Here's how AP's Anita Snow danced around the matter of Fidel's autocracy, conceding that "detractors called him a dictator" while throwing in the favored defense leftists often throw up for Castro (emphasis mine):
In another blow against freedom of speech on the Internet, Fox News is reporting that Google has taken the measure of de-listing the work of an anti-UN blogger named Matthew Lee. For several years, Lee has run the Inner City Press, a small news/opinion site that is focused on criticizing the United Nations. But since Google has teamed up with the UN on recent initiatives, Google has found that Lee's criticism is too much for them to handle.
Mr. Lee has been taking after big targets for a long time, so he is no newcomer to the scene. In 1987 he went after Citigroup with his corruption exposes, but since 2005 the United Nations has been his favorite target. He has especially focused on the "inner workings of what could be called the practical-applications arm of the international organization, the United Nations Development Programme."
Scripps Howard Editor: Conservatives Should Be Like JFK
It is getting tiresome already, but we are starting to see a new kind of story on this issue of McCain and his tiff with the conservative wing of the GOP and that is the shut-up-and-take-it style of commentary, the style were conservatives are told to throw away their principles and just vote McCain anyway.
I am sure that you all have noticed that John McCain is not the conservative's hero? There has been story after story expounding on how McCain has a lot of cajoling to do before principled conservatives will vote for him in November. He hasn't made those efforts yet, at least if looking at the primaries and caucuses that have occurred since McCain became the "presumptive nominee" -- at least according to the media -- are concerned. These last few early February events did not make him look much like an obvious winner, either. Even president Bush has said that he has some convincing of conservatives to do before he could expect their vote. All this clearly shows that McCain lacks serious conservative credentials.
A recent editorial by former Scripps Howard News Service editor Dan K. Thomasson serves as a perfect example of this sort of wrist slapping that conservatives are increasingly receiving from so many quarters, both from the left and their own reputed party members. Thomasson even takes it a step further by positing that conservatives should act like John F. Kennedy who allowed Lyndon Johnson to become his vice presidential pick even though they were rivals for the Democrat nomination for president in 1960. Similarly, he says, conservatives should accept the ideologically impure McCain and then work with him to put one of their own guys on the ticket in the second spot.
Fans of NewsBusters are quite familiar with how we track instances of labeling bias: where the media don't label liberal activists or employ double standards in labeling conservatives vs. liberals, Republicans vs. Democrats, etc.
In a multicultural extravaganza, the Boston Globe celebrated the Chinese New Year, the "year of the rat," by giving us a nice list of "famous" Americans who are "rats." (Rats are those born in the years 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, and 1996) The Globe defined a "rat" as someone who is "charming, clever, hard-working, intelligent, practical, and social," this according to "Chinese astrology." Well, the Globe is here to tell us that "rats" are really great folks. But, looking over their list of American "rats" will reveal not a single conservative or Republican name. Apparently, the Globe can't find any conservative "rats" who are "charming, clever, hard-working, intelligent, practical, and social." On the other hand, do we really want to be considered as "raty" as the Globe's favorite Dems?
To celebrate this famouse (sorry, famous) holiday coming out of their favorite communist nation, the Globe does their best to give us a nice warm feeling about "rats"... at least certain ones, anyway.
You're all aware, I'm sure, of the several attacks against our fighting men and women perpetrated by city governments of late. The Berkeley City Council, who intended to try and kick Marine recruiting offices out of the city, and Toledo, where Mayor Finkbeiner refused to allow the Marines to exit a bus in his city when they arrived to start planned upon exercises, are all over the news. It is also well known that in Toledo, Ohio and Berkeley, California protesters for and against the Marines have been deployed to face each other and the news media have been there to chronicle it all. But, one paper has taken it upon itself to try and excuse the very people who put these ignorant politicians into office who caused these rows in the first place.
The Toledo Free Press published a recent article titled "Controversy over Marines rejection impacts city's development efforts", the main thrust of which is that people shouldn't blame the businesses of either Toledo or Berkeley for the actions of their politicians. But, after seeing all the whining about lost revenue by the business community in both cities and after seeing them plead with people not to blame them for what their politicians do, it left me wondering why shouldn't we hold voters accountable for what their politicians do?
Remember the former governor of New Jersey, Jim McGreevey? What political party did he belong to? Can't remember? Well, don't rely on the Associated Press to assist you in its article yesterday about him and his continuing marital woes:
They've bickered over whether she knew he was gay, whose tell-all book would sell better, whether a poster of a nude man hanging over his new lover's bed had to come down before she'd allow their 6-year-old to visit.
Amy Robach this morning asked the most rhetorical question in contemporary media: does the MSM have a thing for Barack Obama?
The weekend Today co-anchor didn't need guests Pat Buchanan or Rachel Maddow for the answer. She could have kept things in-house with NBC's own Lee Cowan, who has acknowledged “it's almost hard to remain objective” about Obama.
But pose the question Robach did, and Pat Buchanan gave her a colorful answer.