A major presidential candidate is straddling the fence between two key constituencies: gay voters and black churchgoers who tend to frown on homosexuality. Yet when profiling Barack Obama's gospel concert campaign swing through South Carolina, Washington Post staffer Sridhar Pappu all but left that verse out of his October 29 hymn of praise, "In S.C., Obama Seeks a Spiritual Reawakening."
Gay activists have slammed Obama for inviting ex-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin to perform/campaign for the Illinois Democrat. Obama has repudiated McClurkin's personal views on homosexuality and in response to criticism from gay activists invited an openly gay preacher, Andy Sidden, to appear at the same campaign event as McClurkin. Obama stopped short of asking McClurkin to withdraw from his scheduled performance.
Yet nowhere in Pappu's article did Sidden's name surface, and the only mention of consternation within the ranks of liberal interest groups over Obama's affiliation with McClurkin was relegated to an oblique parenthetical reference:
(The gospel series also draws attention because of the inclusion of the Grammy-winning gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, who has publicly said he overcame his homosexual thoughts and desires through prayer.)
Pappu's treatment of the campaign gimmick of marrying Gospel music with an Obama campaign pitch was nowhere near the critical treatment conservative evangelicals get from liberal journalists for ventures such as "Justice Sunday" (emphases mine):
He's a twice-AWOL serial liar with a pending mental health evaluation who can't write believable military fiction EVEN WHILE IN THE MILITARY. He's powerless, has been tried, found guilty and punished, and at this point, a distraction. We've been focusing on the wrong things.
What matters is the New Republic's advertisers. No, not their editors, their advertisers. [see below the fold for a list of same]
Most everyone on the center-right knows the media are biased in a leftward direction, much fewer on the left are able to see this phenenomenon--skewed stories are are just saying the truth after all. Because of this, it's always refreshing to see a liberal news organization sit down and notice something that's left-biased such as the Boston Globe did recently when it correctly observed that ABC's "View" is skewed against conservatives and religious people.
The paper made this observation in a profile of Elisabeth Hasselbeck, "View's" sole conservative who is going to be leaving the show for two months' maternity leave.The profile is also remarkable in that it notices the sheer amount of hatred that is heaped upon a woman who is by anyone's standard a soft-spoken and nice person:
Army Captain Mark L. Stoneman took issue with the Washington Post placing an article regarding the Medal of Honor ceremony for the late Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a Navy Seal killed in action in Afghanistan, on page A4, when the Post devoted prime real estate on the front page to a profile of Democratic strategist Joe Trippi (emphasis mine).:
I was disappointed in your coverage of the posthumous presentation of the Medal of Honor to Navy Seal Lt. Michael P. Murphy [news story, Oct. 23].
While Ann Scott Tyson did a good job of covering the ceremony itself, it would appear that her editor felt that such an event deserved only a few column inches and some perfunctory context of the actions for which Lt. Murphy was recognized.
This insult was compounded by your decision to bury the story on Page A4. While I understand that the fires in California and the tension between Turkey and Kurdish rebels were the two big stories of the day, you cannot tell me that a feature article about one of presidential candidate John Edwards's campaign strategists is more newsworthy than the presentation of only the third Medal of Honor since Sept. 11, 2001.
Stoneman was referring to a front-page profile of former Howard Dean Internet strategist and current John Edwards adviser Joe Trippi. The story by staffer Chris Cillizza is a feature in a profile series entitled "The Gurus."
The Trippi profile was hardly a time-sensitive front-page story. Capt. Stoneman went on to note a double standard in Post coverage of the military:
As the popularity of personal web profiles continues to skyrocket, their utility as a demographic research tool has increased dramatically, both as a means of studying the general public but also to study the ideological bent of the self-described mainstream media.
On the second point (see below for a discussion of the first) a recent study of Facebook profiles of BBC employees finds, surprise surprise, that Britain's taxpayer-funded network is utterly dominated by socialists:
A survey of BBC employees with profiles on the site [Facebook] showed that 11 times more of them class themselves as "liberal" than "conservative."
Critics seized on the figures as evidence that the supposedly impartial corporation, paid for by the licence fee, is dominated by liberals. [...]
It's time for a TGIF edition of one of our favorite games: WIARHSI. For you beginners, that's "What If A Republican Had Said It?"
What if a Republican had said, in explaining why schools in Iowa are performing better than those in Washington:
There's less than one percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than four of five percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with.
What is it about leftist pundits and their singular inability to accept good news about Iraq -- if they acknowledge any good news at all -- then use that news to formulate illogical policy suggestions? Time Columnist Joe Klein, while duly reporting the extremely good news in Iraq, draws all the wrong conclusions from that info based solely on his desire to cut and run in his titled, "The Ramadi Goat Grab." The MSM just cannot accept ANY good news from Iraq without spinning it as verging on failure.
John F Kennedy once defended his stance on lower taxes with the phrase "a rising tide lifts all boats." But, if the New York Times has its way they would change that to a "a rising tax tide swamps all boats." Or at least one would be excused for thinking that upon reading an unsigned editorial that laments "A Dearth of Taxes" in the U.S. today.
Stating that a "zeal" to cut taxes is "misguided," the Times whines that the U.S. government doesn't bring in the kind of tall cash in taxes that European countries do. But, this confiscatory policy that the Times pines for assumes one thing and one thing only: that government will spend that money well. And that is the main reason that Americans are against high taxes in the first palce, government does not spend our money well and everyone but the Times seems to know it.
An Iraq War widow called out the mainstream media’s anti-military bias, and the only national news outlet to pick it up was Fox News Channel’s "The O’Reilly Factor." Appearing on the October 24 edition of the mentioned show, Ginger Gilbert, whose husband died providing infantry cover and sparing Iraqi civilians, spoke out against the media running an Al Qaeda video of her husband’s downed plane, but not focusing on his heroism.
Mrs. Gilbert called it "heartbreaking and upsetting and frustrating" that "this is what American journalists would chose to show and there was never a mention of the 22 lives he saved." Gilbert continued that airing such a video is "lending credibility" and "just furthering terrorism propaganda."
It's one thing for an editor to stubbornly defend a reporter whose story has come under fire when the reporter in question vehemently insists he is telling the truth. It's quite another when an editor stands by a discredited story that even the writer responsible for refuses to vigorously defend.
Such appears to be the case with The New Republic's Franklin Foer.
In a recorded Sept. 6 conversation, the writer, Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp, said from Iraq that the controversy had "spun out of control" and had become "insane" and "ridiculous" and concluded: "I'm not going to talk to anyone about anything."
Time's Joe Klein, aka the Anonymous who wrote "Primary Colors," painted a very nasty portrait of the crop of 2008 Republican candidates for the presidency on his October 24 appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Particularly of note, Klein referred to the former Republican governor of Massachusetts as a "troglodyte.":
Look at Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney, you know, ran as a liberal against Ted Kennedy in 1994. Then he ran as a moderate for governor, and now he's running as a troglodyte. It's unbelievable.
Romney has come under fire from conservatives, and perhaps quite fairly, for his flip-flopping on key issues over the past two decades. Yet no respectable pundit on the left or right would characterize the affable family man as a "troglodyte."
Even so, Klein's invective went unanswered by host Joe Scarborough, who helpfully added, "And it seems to work in all cases."
Drudge scooped me (arrgghhh!) with two documents related to the Beauchamp/TNR story. I had asked for in a FOIA request submitted more than a month ago to the U.S. Army. Those documents including a transcript of the call between Scott Beauchamp, TNR editor Franklin Foer, and TNR executive editor Peter Scoblic on September 7. I first wrote about the conversation itself previously.
The other document was the Army's official report, which I first discussed with the investigating officer, Major John Cross, on September 10.
Knowing the documents exist is one thing; having them is quite another. Now that they have been posted on the public record, these disclosures should end careers at The New Republic.
Today it's being reported that Louisiana State Senator Derrick Shepherd stands accused by the FBI of money laundering. The AP duly reported the messy story surrounding this charge, of course. Their story was long and exhaustive for an AP report. Only one tiny, little thing seems to have been forgotten by the AP. They seem to have forgotten to mention that Shepherd is a Democrat. I know... shocking, eh? This is just another in a long, long line of MSM reports -- and AP reports in particular -- where a report on criminal activity by an elected official seems to lack party identification... IF that criminal activity is perpetrated by a Democrat, of course.
If this is how the memory of heroes gets treated in the U.S. today, then I wouldn't blame any U.S. soldier if they would stop caring about their own country -- not that any soldier has done so. I reported several months ago that a bunch of ignorant, ingrates in Colorado were trying to stop a memorial to a local hero from being erected where school kids could see the display. And now we have a story where a fallen Marine's grave is desecrated. Of course this report raises the question as to whether we will hear this story on the national news?
In fact, have we heard any story on the national news of our troops being mistreated once home by anyone other than our Veteran's Administration? In any case, it begs the questions; where is people's shame? Where is their patriotism? Where is their common decency? The Houston Chronicle reports that Marine Jeremy Burris' grave was desecrated in Liberty, Texas this week.
The mainstream television media, for the most part, ignored yet another potential Clinton scandal. As NewsBusters’ Richard Newcombe reported, the Los Angeles Times, certainly not a conservative publication, broke the story of the Clinton campaign raising a large sum of money from very poor Chinese immigrants. One third of these immigrants could not even be located and the vast majority of those located were not even registered to vote. Additionally, there is a possibility of coercion among those immigrants.
How did the morning shows cover it? On Monday, October 22, only FNC’s "Fox and Friends" covered the story. The remaining shows, NBC’s "Today," ABC’s "Good Morning America," CBS’s "The Early Show," and CNN’s "American Morning," all covered for Senator Clinton, ignoring the story.
It has been five days since Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen used an offensive ethnic slur to describe the Chinese workers who built the railroads across the American West in the 1800s. Bredesen used the term in a dispatch he wrote and emailed to some Tennessee newspapers while traveling in Beijing.
The ensuing media firestorm has yet to, well, ensue. Terry Frank explains why Bredesen's rude language won't be his "macaca moment," and takes issue with Bredesen's attempt to portray himself as the victim in the story. (He blames the newspapers for not editing his piece and, contradictorily, for suggesting the word might be offensive.)
Oh, did I mention that Bredesen is a liberal Democrat? That may explain why the media firestorm never ensued.
Man, after reading this AP report on the retiring of a Chinese official, you'd think that the folks at the Associated Press were star struck by this communist oppressor. I mean, I've seen less adulation on a Britney Spears fan site! You wouldn't expect to see more slobbering, sycophancy from a 12-year-old waiting in line to see the latest boy band to appear. Their adulation of vice premier Miss Wu Yi ranges from calling her a "master problem solver," to saying she has "charm," and an "unusual degree of personal warmth." You'd think that the AP is ready to cast her as the new Aunt Bee in a remake of The Andy Griffith Show.
Starting out with obvious marvel at Yi's indispensability for those lucky Chinese, AP seems to totally forget that she is part of an oppressive communist regime that kills people daily, oppresses all manner of religious sects, and withholds the basic freedoms from their people.
For various reasons, people in the journalism business aren't generally willing to admit what everyone on the outside can see: Personal bias is endemic to journalism and is something that should always be something to be filtered out as much as possible, especially in the political realm.
Thankfully one journalism pundit who is honest enough to admit to the truth of the foregoing statement is one Butch Ward, a distinguished fellow at the Poynter Institute. In a blog entry entitled "How Safe Is Your Newsroom?," Ward writes:
Several years ago during a leadership seminar at Poynter, one of the participants approached me during a break.
"Can I tell you something about myself?" she asked.
"Sure," I said.
"I'm a conservative," she said as we walked past the library and the rows of books about journalism –- good, bad and ugly.
If you are old enough to remember how badly the press corps treated vice president Dan Quayle -- you might recall specifically that they made fun of how he once spelled potato(e) -- you will understand why ABC's Political Radar blog is trying to associate Fred Thompson with Dan Quayle in theirs headlined, "Fred Thompson's Quayle-Hunting?" They mean the association to be a detraction, something with which they can smear Fred Thompson as he makes his run for the White House.
But, their obvious ulterior motives aside, this attempt to associate Quayle and Fred doesn't even make much sense. In fact, the whole story is not only a ho hum incident in light of American history, but the fact that they are associating Quayle and Thompson has no teeth to it.
If this doesn't take the cake, I don't know what does? On an ABC News Blog called the Political Radar, ABC reports on Rush Limbaugh's $2 million condemnation letter and throughout the piece continually links "Democrats" to the charity donation that Limbaugh and the ebay bidder for the letter are giving the money to. After reading this ABC blog report, one gets the sneaking suspicion that ABC thinks that Harry Reid and the Democrats are the ones that should be hailed as the good guys responsible for raising this monumental sum for charity. It is clear that ABC did their level best to play down Limbaugh's part in the story and play up the supposed positive contribution of Democrats.
Covering the flap over Rep. Pete Stark's (D-Calif.) assertion that President Bush likes to see American soldiers die for sport, Washington Post reporter Jonathan Weisman tossed in a swipe about Republicans of his own, characterizing a vote to uphold Bush's SCHIP veto as a vote to "deny children health care."
[Video of Stark's comments available on YouTube via the NRCC here]
A new and supposedly nonpartisan news agency named ProPublica is about to start offering free of charge its "investigative journalism" created with "moral force" to newspapers and other news sources soon and so far the announcement has been met with favorable coverage by the MSM. But, ProPublica is being funded by a pair of left-wing billionaires responsible for funding such groups as the Center for American Progress and MoveOn.org and other far left Democrat backing organizations, yet the MSM seems unconcerned that highly partisan, left-wing backers are funding this effort. Somehow, the MSM can't imagine that any leftist bias could possibly infect this new "news" agency.
Now, imagine how the MSM would be clicking tongues if a news agency were to be founded by a well-known conservative. Imagine how the MSM would be throwing around the word "bias" with abandon and how they would assume right off the bat that such a new news agency couldn't possibly be a real news source because the founder of it was a conservative. Would the opposite situation elicit such clucking? Would the MSM scoff at the claim of non-partisan reporting if a left-wing activist started a news agency?
Left-wing secularists who oppose religion in the public square may be dismayed to learn that their values apparently conflict with those of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), according to the author of a new book on the former first lady's religious beliefs.
Although many Democrats support a very strict separation of church and state, the front-runner for the party's presidential nomination does not, Paul Kengor, author of "God and Hillary Clinton," said in an interview. In fact, Clinton is not reticent about injecting her faith into policy discussions, said Kengor, who teaches political science at Grove City College in Pennsylvania.
We'll have to keep Patterico in mind for hosting duties if we ever decide to throw a NewsBusters game show (although be warned, we're fiscally conservative, so the prize would probably be a cheap Rosie O'Donnell doll).
If you ask the voters to reinstate a tax after it’s been thrown out by the courts, it’s a new tax. But if you beat the courts to it — by convincing voters to approve a slightly lower tax before the higher one is invalidated — is it a tax “reduction”?
Rarely has a man made more of a fool of himself, than has Lou Dobbs with most of his recent post on his webpage on CNN.com. Rarely does one catch such a glimpse of self-importance, arrogance and assumptions of omniscience. It is so bad that Dobbs imagines himself enough of a soothsayer, enough of a scryer,* that he knows what Bush's legacy will be even before Bush leaves office... if, according to Dobbs, the country is still even here when Bush steps down. Talk about wild-eyed, hyperbole. With people like Dobbs and Olberman, it is no wonder that no one believes what the MSM says. Their "act" is so outrageous, there is no way to take them seriously. "Beware the lame duck," Dobbs ominously warns with his headline in this piece, most of which is just a silly screed, where he worries that the country won't last another 15 months.
Frankly, I spend more time worrying about whether or not the United States can survive the remaining 15 months of his ebbing presidency.
In an effort to kill it forever, Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind.) is attempting to force a vote on the floor of the House today over the future of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine." Yesterday, Pence secured House passage of the "Free Flow of Information Act" to protect the press and is now launching an effort to nix the ability of the executive branch from re-instituting the woefully unfair "Fairness Doctrine," a relic from the 1980s that deserves to remain dead and buried.
Using a somewhat arcane House rule called a "discharge Petition," Pence and Rep. Greg Walden (R- Ore.) are attempting to defy the House majority and force a vote on the measure. A "discharge petition" would need the support of 218 members of the House to force a vote and Pence already has 201 names pledged to support him. He needs only 17 Democrats to join the effort and Pence can defeat the efforts of Nancy Pelosi to block the attempt.
As NewsBusters previously documented, most of the mainstream media highlighted General Ricardo Sanchez’s criticism of the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq War, but ignored his criticism of the media’s coverage. The one exception, of course, is Fox News.
Retired Colonel and Fox News Military Analyst David Hunt appeared on the October 17 edition of "Fox and Friends" to discuss Sanchez’s remarks. Although Hunt conceded Sanchez "is the wrong guy to be doing this" due to the Abu Ghraib scandal, he believes that "he’s right."
"Would the media laugh at a nude chocolate Mohammed?"
So asks Arkansas Democrat-Gazette religion editor Frank Lockwood with the headline to a October 16 blog post hitting fellow journalists for a double standard in reporting insults to religious faith.
Reacting with disdain towards a flippant Associated Press article about a confectionery rendering of a naked Jesus Christ, Lockwood answers with a resounding no:
Can you imagine the national media laughing it up about an anatomically-correct chocolate Mohammed, on display in Manhattan with his genitals on display? They'd be too afraid to print the pictures. They don't have the nerve to print artistic renderings of the Prophet with his clothes on!
The SCHIP Federal healthcare program debate is based on quite serious and substantive issues. The GOP doesn't want this Federal welfare program to be expanded to include families that can easily afford their own health insurance (families earning $83,000 a year for instance) and Democrats want to expand this program to include far more families than the legislation ever covered previously. But, if one were to read Reuters coverage of this Congressional fight, one would come away imagining that the only issue is that the Dems want to "back kids' health care" and Republicans don't. What does their headline say to you? "Democrats dare Republicans to back kids' health." It certainly sets the debate on the Democrat's terms, doesn't it?