Speaking of a here-we-go-again story, the AP this morning has revived the Jeri Thompson as trophy wife story again. This is an extremely demeaning charge leveled at the wife of Fred Thompson that keeps resurfacing, over and over, in the liberal press. The thrust of the story is that she is a brainless hottie that Thompson only grabbed up because she is great arm candy. But Jeri Thompson is an accomplished and driven individual in her own right and for the MSM to continually claim she is nothing but a "trophy wife" slights her own achievements.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Jeri Thompson, wife of GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson, shakes off the ``trophy wife'' label critics have tagged her with for being 24 years younger than her husband.
Fred Thompson, for his part, has a great comeback for the constant demeaning of his beautiful wife. "Thompson said: 'I almost think they had to fabricate that trophy-wife stuff because there's nothing interesting to say.'''
Here we go again with another story where a Democrat is being accused of sexual misconduct, yet the Associated Press doesn't feel that mentioning the man's party affiliation is important to the story. In this case, the AP is carrying a story on "State Senator Dan Sutton of Flandreau" (that would be in South Dakota) who is being sued for "allegedly groping a male legislative page." Sutton is a Democrat -- not that you'd be able to tell from this story.
All AP reporter Chet Brokaw gives us to describe Mr. Sutton is "State Senator Dan Sutton of Flandreau." The story does, however, report in the last line that the S. Dakota Senate "voted to censure Sutton rather than expel him." This sounds rather more damning for the Senator than a mere allegation by some disgruntled page, doesn't it? That the State Senate took this unusual action seems to say that there is more than smoke with this but a fire raging.
And still we get no mention of party affiliation from the AP.
Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven practically blew kisses to the Left with her biased coverage of President Bush's veto of the Democratic proposal to boost SCHIP by a whopping $35 billion over five years.:
WASHINGTON -- President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance.
It was only the fourth veto of Bush's presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year's elections. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.
Ah yes, the old paint-the-conservatives-as-the-bad-guy trick. Bush's veto is [cue ominous music] a "sharp confrontation" that prevents kids from getting health care and is sure to doom the GOP to wander the electoral desert.
Those are all nice partisan talking points, but you'll notice no quote marks. It's all Loven's spin.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) took to a popular conservative blog today to issue a defense of radio host Rush Limbaugh against left-wing smear attacks. As NewsBusters has reported, Blackburn herself was the target of a "gotcha" game by MSNBC's David Shuster.
In "Why let the truth get in the way of a good story," Blackburn expressed to Red State readers her support for Limbaugh and noted her resolution before the House of Representatives to commend Rush for this dedication to America's men and women in uniform:
In the information age, misinformation is too often traded as a counterfeit currency in our marketplace of ideas.
The recent Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh non-scandelettes have proven this in spades. But disingenuous attacks on individual public figures are hardly the only kind of falsehood you'll find in the partisan press. Today's merchants of disinformation also trade frequently in false stereotypes of large groups of Americans, especially those who even slightly oppose abortion.
Those of you who are pro-life may not know this but despite whatever you may think, all of you are actually overweight, hyper-religious, uneducated, spouse-beating, rural, white males. Or at least that's what you are in the minds of the fanatically pro-choice left.
Rush Limbaugh has done it again. He's driven the left mad. The lies about Limbaugh that Democrat Party House members are promulgating have rekindled talk of the dreaded Fairness Doctrine. And in a piece on the brewing battle between the anti-free speech Democrats and conservative talk radio supporters in the House of Representatives, the Washington newspaper The Hillcontinually mischaracterizes the debate at hand, trying to make it seem that talk radio supporters are only out to guard radio station's "profits" when the issue is clearly being fought over free speech, not money. Why would The Hill try to dismiss the conservative position as just about the cash? Why would The Hill so slight the real issue of free speech and government oppression? Of course, the most probable reason is that writer Alexander Bolton's agenda is to discredit the drive to protect talk radio as much as he can without being too obvious about it. Bolton's former employer was the lefty journal, The Nation magazine, so we must understand the ideological position from which he hails. But his jabs at talk radio supporters is more heavy handed than he imagines and not nearly as subtle and slick as he thinks it to be.
Oh sure, sometimes they love to hate us, but one thing is clear: NewsBusters is must reading for MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
As I noted here, Scarborough and panelist Willie Geist blasted Media Matters on today's "Morning Joe" for using a "phony story" to go after Rush for his "phony soldiers" comment. Joe and Willie recognized the truth of the matter: that Rush had been speaking of one phony soldier indeed, Jesse Macbeth, and not of anti-war soldiers in general.
Later, at 8:03 A.M. EDT, in the context of the Media Matters-inspired attack on Rush, Joe and Mika made clear that they have NewsBusters on the noggin.
It doesn't take you a comprehensive Media Research Center study to know that the Huffington Post is a leftist site. Of course, MRC/NewsBusters' Tim Graham did such a study, but it's common knowledge in the media that HuffPo skews leftward. Yet New York Times staffer Bill Carter downplayed the liberal nature of the site in his October 2 story "CBSNews.com Chief to Lead a News and Blogs Site."
Carter kicked off his article by taking pains to avoid the ideological bent of HuffPo, instead painting HuffPo's new hire of a CBSNews.com staffer for chief executive as a sign that "new-media" outlets no longer have to sit at the MSM's version of the kids table:
The Huffington Post, a news Web site, plans to announce today the appointment of a new chief executive, Betsy Morgan, who will leave her job as the general manager of CBSNews.com.
From the no-news-is-good-news department (and Instapundit) comes news that the media have suddenly decided to start covering Iraq less. Investor's Business Daily explains:
Ever since the Sept. 10 testimony of Gen. David Petraeus, we've heard less and less from the mainstream media about the war in Iraq. The old adage "no news is good news" has never been truer.
That the media are no longer much interested in Iraq is a sure sign things are going well there. Instead, they're talking about the presidential campaign, or Burma, or global warming, or . . . whatever.
Why? Simply put, the news from Iraq has been quite positive, as Petraeus related in his report to Congress.
Despite the fact that Hillary Clinton publicly boasted about creating Media Matters and that this information has been common knowledge inside the beltway, the far-left group has repeatedly issued false denials of these connections.
But in true Clintonian fashion, these denials are hardly that at all. Here is the phrase that the group keeps falling back on:
"Media Matters for America is a 'progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.' The Center for American Progress identifies itself on its website as 'a progressive think-tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.'"
Considering the mainstream media's penchant for highlighting negative aspects of our involvement in Iraq and for shining a positive light on anyone who protests the war in any way, how is it we didn't hear about this guy? (hat tip: Moonbattery)
Bill McDannell, 58, of Lakeside, California, quit his job and sold nearly all his possessions (including his home) in order to trek across the country on foot to protest Iraq. It took him about nine months.
Returning to normal life won't be easy, either. He's broke now. He's got no place to call his own. And he didn't garner the national attention he had hoped for.
Apparently when he arrived in Washington D.C., there were no reporters and no cameras. Perhaps his problem is that he didn't walk in the nude or on his hands or something similarly outrageous. Just walking? With today's 24-hour news cycle, you have to do something nutty in order to get the attention-span-challenged producer's eye. Just ask Code Pink.
A few months ago, the blogosphere and talk radio were abuzz with the story of how the nation's various weather stations and temperature reading devices have been improperly located or badly constructed and how the data received from these improper devices must be suspected as inaccurate. The MSM briefly mentioned this story but quickly dropped it like the proverbial hot rock. It makes one wonder why?
Since global warming research often uses the suspect data that is gotten from these failed stations, the accuracy of the entire theory must therefore be called into question as its conclusions are derived from likely false data. Still the MSM ignores this explosive story.
But, it is evident that the so-called scientific community has also ignored the arguments in this story as there has yet to be a weather station moved or its location and/or construction reevaluated.
Last week, two of the leading conservatives in the media, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, were dishonestly and unprofessionally attacked by press outlets that cherry-picked out of context remarks from lengthy radio broadcasts in order to vilify outspoken personalities whose opinions they don’t agree with.
Unfortunately, as folks around the country saw this play out on their television sets and newspapers, few were at all familiar with the organization behind the smear campaigns, or that this same group started the firestorm which ended with radio host Don Imus being terminated by NBC and CBS in April.
Maybe more importantly, even fewer citizens are aware that this organization is linked directly to Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as billionaire leftist George Soros.
For some background, John Perazzo wrote a column for FrontPage Magazine in July entitled “Media Matters: Hillary’s Lap Dogs,” that should be must-reading for all citizens interested in who's targeting America’s leading conservative personalities (emphasis added throughout):
Thomas Friedman thinks you are "stupid" if you still care about the atrocity committed against this country by Islamofascists in New York on 9/11/2001. He thinks "9/11 is over" and we all should just move on. Even worse, he has decided that we are no longer a great country, but are filled with seemingly meaningless "fear," that we have a dilapidated infrastructure, and that while America used to be "the gold standard," he believes "We aren’t anymore." Friedman is falling for the typical, leftist doom-and-gloom scenario and imagines that China is better than we are, Europe is more inviting, and we have become the new Rome after the fall. His closing line is "We can’t afford to keep being this stupid!" By contrast to Friedman, my opening line to him is "We can't afford to be this self-loathing!" Friedman starts his piece off comparing the current state of the U.S. to a satirical piece in the Onion, which is fitting because Frideman's own piece might be mistaken for a satire on the frivolousness and unserious nature of the left today. Unfortunately, he is serious about his self-inflicted amnesia and seems utterly unconcerned about the threats we face as a nation and a people. Like most truthers he seems to imagine that it has all been hype, a conspiracy theory made up by eeeevil Republicans who merely want to fool enough people to stay in power.
I would defy anyone to label Maureen Dowd by party affiliation or ideology. I've known her and worked closely with her for 20 years and I can't tell you the answer to either one -- Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor of The New York Times
What would be worse: that when Times editorial page editor Rosenthal claims not to know Maureen Dowd's politics he's not being honest -- or that he is?
On August 26 and September 2, the Washington Post refused to run the weekly "Opus" comic strip by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed out of concerns of insensitivity to Muslims. NewsBusters associate editor wrote about the controversy here and here, and MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell discussed the Post's double standard on religious sensibilities on Glenn Beck's CNN Headline News program.
Weeks after the controversy has subsided, NewsBusters reader Rusty Weiss shot me a message informing me that a classic "Bloom County" strip from Breathed in the September 28 edition of Yahoo Comics is quite appropriate coming on the heels of the controversy (see below fold for the comic strip). Writes Weiss:
There was a time when professional journalists were driven toward their profession out of a desire to protect the interests of the public through thoughtful and informative information gathering and reporting. It was an honorable job in a profession that was kept on course by a civic responsibility and a "journalistic code of ethics". This concept has been around for so long that you will often hear the phrase repeated in schools and newspapers.
When we voted for Jenna Bush to lead the war in Iraq, we all thought she would always be ready and able to lead the discussion in the press about that important issue... Oh, wait. No one voted for Jenna Bush for anything, much less to make Iraq policy. This fact, then, makes it curious that the AP would give us a piece titled "Jenna Bush Ducks Iraq, Talks Engagement." Why, exactly, the AP would think Jenna Bush is the one to ask questions about Iraq during an interview about her marriage plans is anyone's guess. What kind of headline is that anyway? The subhead is even worse, "In Book-Promoting Interview, First Daughter Avoids Iraq Questions, Discusses Her Romantic Engagement Story." This is just another example of the APs Bush Derangement Syndrome where they cannot even have a nice, happy story about the daughter of the president announcing her engagement and talking about helping the poor without badgering her about policies she has nothing to do with.
This AP report is a perfect example of how the western media hasn't the temerity to call things like they are, a perfect example of how it soft-sells the truth for fear of violating those vaunted codes of politically correct conduct -- and why we could lose this war with a radical Islam that isn't afraid of how they are perceived by their enemies. The weakness this time is displayed in an AP report titled "Ministry: Taliban spokesman arrested", in which the AP can't even call the Taliban a terrorist organization and treats these murderers as if they were just another normal government entity by according them the respect of the kind of language you'd reserve for the spokesmen of any legitimate government.
First off, at the top of the story, the Taliban is described merely as an "insurgent movement" instead of a terrorist agency.
The definition of ironic? A media outlet that omitted positive information about Iraq...from an article that criticized the media for doing just that.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch commander of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, which is stationed in Iraq, spoke to reporters while on leave in the US. He denounced the media habit of omitting or downplaying positive news coming out of Iraq and then gave an example of the kind of news that is usually downplayed or omitted by the media (thnx NewsBusters reader).
In a perfect illustration of what Lynch meant, Editor & Publisher, a leading industry journal, let its metaphorical slip show and omitted Lynch's positive news about Iraq from the paper's September 21 article.
I suppose that Karen DeYoung's story could have been buried deeper in the Washington Post, but it would take some effort:
Civil war has been averted in Iraq and Iranian intervention there has "ceased to exist," Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said yesterday.
"I can't say there is a picture of roses and flowers in Iraq," Maliki told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. "However, I can say that the greatest victory, of which I am proud . . . is stopping the explosion of a sectarian war." That possibility, he said, "is now far away."
While political reconciliation is not yet complete, he said, progress is being made. "Reconciliation is not a decision that can be made, but a process that takes continuous efforts and also needs strategic patience," Maliki said.
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Telemundo reporter and mayoral mistress Mirthala Salinas is heading back at work after a two-month suspension, albeit demoted to a less prominent job within the network:
Television newscaster Mirthala Salinas, who was suspended without pay for two months in August after her affair with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa became public, is scheduled to return to work Monday. But she won't be taking up her old job as a fill-in anchor on evening newscasts for KVEA-TV Channel 52.
Instead, executives with the Spanish-language Telemundo network confirmed Monday that Salinas would be sent to the station's Inland Empire bureau in Riverside as a general assignment reporter, a notable fall for a one-time rising star who has become one of the most recognizable faces in local Spanish-language television.
Now, here we have a very interesting debate about journalism, racism, crime and the new media on the internet. The Sacramento Bee has been forced to revisit a long standing, 15-year-old policy this week. It seems that for years the Bee has, for the most part, avoided mentioning the race of a suspected criminal in their crime coverage. They claimed that they only mentioned race when the story was "accompanied by a detailed physical description or when reporting a serial crime or when using police sketches of suspects." Critics of the paper, however, claim this policy is merely a paean to PCism and this refusal of the paper to mention the race of a suspect makes the Bee's coverage less than informative and has made it practically useless as a tool of assistance to the police.
As the Bee states in their editorial, "the issue's volatility has ebbed and flowed, sometimes lying dormant for months only to arise anew in the wake of a particularly heinous crime."
I am sure that "ebbed and flowed" is an understatement.
Reading Bob Novak's new book about his years as a Washington reporter, I came across his recollection about how back in 1980, when marginal income tax rates stood at 70 percent, political reporters considered it bizarre that then-candidate Ronald Reagan supported the Kemp-Roth plan to reduce income taxes by 30 percent. On page 357 of 'The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington' (Amazon's page), Novak related a conversation he had, the week before the 1980 election, with Walter Isaacson, then a new Time magazine reporter. Isaacson eventually moved up the ranks to run the magazine and later CNN:
The connection of Reagan's emphasis on tax reduction to his late  campaign surge was lost on reporters covering the Republican candidate. One of them was Walter Isaacson, a twenty-eight-year-old Time correspondent. The former Rhodes scholar, in his second year with the magazine, was given the plum assignment of covering Reagan. On the campaign trail that last week, he introduced himself to me and started a conversation about Reagan's and my tax-cutting views. He said he believed I was the only journalist he knew who actually supported Kemp-Roth, which accurately reflected the political press corps' mind-set. “I just wonder if you could explain to me how you got there,” he said. Walter sounded like a modern scientist encountering somebody who believed the earth was flat.
When liberal journalists put on their political pundit hats to ostensibly handicap the policy stances of Republican politicians, you can rest assured that conservative or center-right stances will almost always be panned as political/electoral suicide.
Time magazine's Karen Tumulty is no exception in her recent Swampland blog post, "SCHIP: A Really Dumb Fight for Bush to Pick." in which the veteran reporter took President Bush to task for his veto threat for Democratic legislation that seeks to expand the size and mandate of the federally-backed State Children's Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP).
A columnist from a Chicago suburban paper has equated smoking to abortion in order to explain away her support of an abortion mill struggling to open in Aurora, Illinois. Saying that since smoking is legal, and it “kills” people, why shouldn't abortion be legal, we find her reasoning is strained and absurd. If there’s a more ridiculous comparison out there, I'd like to see it. Following her tortured logic, we should outlaw everything that might kill someone if we also outlaw abortion -- which WILL kill someone.
There are so many specious arguments that this supporter of infanticide tries to use in this article to support abortion that it must spin the head of most readers. The whole thing has a feel like the author of the column, Joni Hirsch-Blackman, is throwing just about everything she can think of against a wall to see what sticks quite regardless of any logic or sense to it all.
After simple-mindedly explaining that "Tobacco kills," which in reality is not a literal truth because often times it does not, Hirsch-Blackman explains that, while she "sneers" at smokers, she would never protest against it because it is legal.
There's a fabulous column by Ed Driscoll (HT to NixGuy in an e-mail) about the evolution of media and reporting from the invention of radio to our current circumstances.
It's the title of Driscoll's work, "Atlas Mugged: How a Gang of Scrappy, Individual Bloggers Broke the Stranglehold of the Mainstream Media," that misses the mark a bit.
Ed has the "stranglehold" part nailed:
By the early 1970s, mass media had reached its zenith (if you’ll pardon the pun). Most Americans were getting their news from one of three TV networks’ half-hour nightly broadcasts. With the exception of New York, most big cities had only one or two primary newspapers. And no matter what a modern newspaper’s lineage, by and large its articles, except for local issues, came from global wire services like the Associated Press or Reuters; it took its editorial lead from the New York Times; and it claimed to be impartial (while usually failing miserably).