It doesn’t take much to make “news” in The Washington Post these days.
Upset at the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, last Thursday 29-year-old feminist New Yorker Jasmine Shea decided it would be a great idea to leave condoms randomly around a Latham, New York, Hobby Lobby store and spell out the phrase “Pro-Choice” with block letters in various places. Of course she took lots of selfies posing next to her artwork to post to Instagram and Twitter. For that she made a national story in The Washington Post July 9.
It’s a mystery how Shea, who has a mere 286 followers on Instagram, and about 800 on Twitter, which is small beans compared to the typical popular user, somehow managed to get her “activism” noticed by a leading national newspaper. Shea herself even tweeted, “I’m still in disbelief I’m newsworthy.” (Hint for Shea: your ideological conferes at The Post really, really want to see a popular feminist backlash to Hobby Lobby, and they’re not above manufacturing one.)
NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Tuesday. That day, ABC's World News labeled the demonstration "one of the largest marches in Hong Kong's history" during an 18-second news brief, but failed to mention that the communist Chinese government was the target of the participants. The network's morning show, Good Morning America, has yet to devote any air time to the protest.
Seth Doane filed a two-minute report about the march on Wednesday's CBS Evening News. But like his peers at ABC, Doane omitted describing the "central government here in Beijing" as communist. Anchor Scott Pelley introduced the correspondent's report by noting the anniversary the protesters were marking: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Despite Thursday's unanimous Supreme Court ruling that so-called "buffer zones" banning pro-life protests near abortion clinics was a violation of the First Amendment, all three network evening newscasts hyped assertions by abortion advocates that such unconstitutional measures "prevent violence at clinic entrances." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC Nightly News, correspondent Pete Williams began his report on the high court's decision by proclaiming: "Massachusetts was trying to avoid scenes like this – patients at abortion clinics confronted and hassled, sometimes even violence." Footage ran of pro-life protesters being held back by police barricades and one unidentified man shouting: "They're lying to you and they're gonna kill your baby!"
While a Thursday article posted on MSNBC.com celebrated college commencement speakers who "drop like flies" due to to "feisty campus dissent," on Friday's NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander warned: "On campuses in the last two years, 25 speakers have withdrawn or been disinvited....The growing trend is fueling concern that campuses could become islands of intolerance." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A soundbite was included of Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education observing: "The danger here is that we send a message to students that they have a right to only hear from people that they already agree with. It becomes very difficult to find anyone you can invite to speak who's done anything interesting with their lives."
Guess who's all of a sudden standing up for law and order? Why, it's radical environmentalists, who despite their general disdain for lawful behavior have felt compelled to speak out in support of the Bureau of Land Management's attempts to round up Cliven Bundy's cattle and ultimately force the Nevada rancher to abandon his family's century-old business.
Martin Griffith at the Associated Press relayed the comments of one such group in a Sunday report in the aftermath of the BLM's abandonment of its roundup efforts, in Griffith's words, "after hundreds of states' rights protesters, some of them armed militia members, showed up at corrals outside Mesquite to demand the animals' release" (There's much to it than that; go this archived Drudge Report page for more; bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Friday, Reuters dispatched Sarah McBride, a San Francisco area reporter, to cover a protest by two dozen people. Seriously.
According to the headline at McBride's story, the presence of these two dozen protesters demonstrated that "San Francisco tech money protests intensify." McBride utterly failed to describe the protester's ultimate goals: lots and lots of money and an end to capitalism. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
NPR's Lauren Frayer repeatedly emphasized the conservative ideology of the ruling party of Spain on Thursday's Morning Edition, as she reported on proposed legislation there that would be, in her words, "one of the toughest abortion laws in Europe – a near-total ban, except in cases of rape or threats to the mother's health." However, she didn't point out the left-of-center political affiliation of opponents of the proposal.
Frayer noted how "topless women" shouted "abortion is sacred...surrounding a Catholic cardinal on his way into church a couple weeks ago," but failed identify that these protesters were from Femen, the radical feminist group that got its start in Ukraine by cutting down a memorial cross to victims of Soviet communism. The correspondent also played up how the party that proposed the pro-life law is "moving to the right – trying to keep members from defecting to a new far-right political party, similar to the Tea Party in the U.S."
The Associated Press and The Hill both reported on Noah Kai Newkirk shouting down the Supreme Court justices in their chamber, but ignored his far-left political affiliation. On Thursday, the wire service merely identified Newkirk's organization as "protest group 99Rise." Mario Trujilo of The Hill gave some a bit more information on Friday, but failed to disclose that 99Rise was founded by "a group of Los Angeles organizers active in Occupy" Wall Street.
By contrast, Lawrence Hurley and Joan Biskupic of Reuters explicitly mentioned the protester's ideology and his organization's background in a Thursday report:
Chris Matthews’ vendetta against Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) continued at a fever-pitched pace Wednesday night. The Hardball host has a long history of attacking Cruz; he once called the Tea Party senator a “Thug” who wants to “Kill” Obama’s “Baby” and compared him to cinematic murderer “Freddy Krueger.”
On February 26, the MSNBC host took his anti-Cruz hatred to a new level, shrieking that “Ted Cruz Secedes From the Union” before asking what if the GOP “becomes a torpedo headed directly for the U.S. Capitol?” [See video below.]
ABC, CBS, and NBC have largely punted in covering the protests against the leftist government in Venezuela. Since Monday, only NBC Nightly News has devoted a full report on the demonstrations in the South American country. Altogether, NBC has aired just over two minutes of reporting on the story. Brian Williams also stood out for explicitly mentioning the political ideology of the regime: "Many...are feeling increasingly let down by the socialist government." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The network's Big Three competitors trail far behind in their coverage, with CBS only mentioning the protests during a 24-second news brief on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. The network's evening newscast, CBS Evening News, has yet to cover the story. ABC has devoted three news briefs on its morning and evening newscasts since Wednesday, for a total of 52 seconds of air time.
CNN's Anderson Cooper did little to hide his outrage on his Tuesday program over a zoo in Copenhagen, Denmark killing a giraffe. Cooper confronted the zoo's scientific director and asked, "Doesn't the life of the animal itself have some value, rather than just it being part of your breeding program?" The host later expressed his dismay to Jack Hanna: "What he seems to be saying is that the animal itself doesn't really have any right to live."
Cooper later used language familiar to pro-life activists in defense of the giraffe: "At a certain point, the animals themselves should have some right to actually having a life." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump] The anchor's pro-animal rights segments came just twenty days after CNN senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin ripped pro-lifers on his now-cancelled 10 pm Eastern program:
Longtime readers here may recall that yours truly and others have written about liberties New York Times reporter Kate Zernike has taken with the truth, especially in her reporting on the Tea Party movement. Her penchant for inventing baseless stories about alleged racism in the movement once caused the late Andrew Breitbart to label her "a despicable human being."
Breitbart might well have the same reaction to the hours-later revision made at Zernike's Times story Friday about Chris Christie. Several alert bloggers and tweeters noted that her story about Christie's knowledge of shut lanes on the George Washington Bridge conveniently went from solid to speculative without any indication that any changes had been made.
On Friday's NBC Nightly News, Andrea Mitchell slanted towards left-leaning environmentalists who are still opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, despite a new report from the State Department that indicated that the environmental impact of the project would be minimal. Mitchell played three soundbites from environmentalists protesting or speaking out against the pipeline, versus only one clip from a supporter.
The correspondent also forwarded an allegation from unnamed environmentalists against contributors to the State Department study: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Kudos to New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan for asking why the Times couldn’t provide much coverage of Wednesday’s March for Life. Hundreds, if not thousands of New Yorkers were there, so “Was this local participation, or the event itself, worthy of a news story in the paper of record? Apparently not.”
“The Times, in print, published only a stand-alone photograph of the event on Page A17 with a two-line caption on Thursday.” Sullivan reproduced complaints from pro-life readers:
The Washington Post Magazine devoted another cover story to honoring a left-wing protester, this one titled “Life on the Passionate Fringe.” The cover touted he's "Willing to Be Hated." They mean that with love and respect: “D.C. protester Adam Eidinger is a relentless promoter of lefty protest.” This comes after the cover stories on Lafayette Park fruitcake Concepcion Picciotto and radical restaurateur Andy Shallal.
It's reminiscent of their love affair with Occupy Wall Street actions. Now try to imagine the WashPost spreading this kind of love for the “passionate fringe” is it was a profile on a Tea Party protester. Writer Ken Otterbourg insists we need lefties on the fringe, for they may be tomorrow’s mainstream:
Attempting to build his national profile, Al Sharpton "took up residence on the West Side (of Chicago) in November and began hosting ... (weekly) town halls as part of an effort to find solutions to the city’s outsize homicide rate among young black males."
Rebel Pundit at Breitbart News reports that a Thursday meeting in the city's Hyde Park area not far from President Obama's Chicago home didn't exactly turn out the way Sharpton would have liked. There was even talk of having "Tea Party" meetings "like Republicans do." Sharpton doesn't need to worry too much, though, because Chicago's establishment press has ignored what happened. Shamefully, so have a couple of smaller publications which apparently prefer bland misdirection over substantive reporting. Excerpts from the Breitbart report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
While interviewing openly gay U.S. women's hockey team player Caitlin Cahow on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer hoped for controversy during the games over Russia's "anti-gay laws": "[Openly gay former tennis player] Billy Jean King said that perhaps it is time for a 'John Carlos moment'....that moment in 1968 in Mexico City [Olympics] when [U.S. runners] John Carlos and Tommy Smith stood up and they gave the Black Power salute because they wanted to protest racial inequality. Would you be willing to be a part of some kind of a John Carlos moment in Sochi?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Cahow tried to tamp down Lauer's expectations: "Honestly I think that my John Carlos moment right now is going to Russia and being present and representing the United States. Like I said before, this delegation represents so much more than just LGBT diversity. We have a really remarkable diversity in the United States."
On Thursday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts all spotlighted how "fast food workers across the country are holding strikes to demand higher wages", but failed to point out the involvement of left-leaning groups in organizing the protests. ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning featured spokesmen from the "Fast Food Forward" movement, but didn't include their respective involvement in the SEIU and a successor organization to ACORN.
The ABC and CBS morning shows also slanted towards the protesters by a two-to-one margin in the number of soundbites from the protesters and liberal supporters, versus opponents of raising the minimum wage. While NBC's Today didn't feature any of the protest organizers, the show played three clips from a fast food employee and a protest supporter, versus two from opponents. [MP3 audio available here; video clips below the jump]
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago by a Communist sympathizer, yet Friday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC ran a package that emphasized right-wing hate in Dallas while failing to mention Lee Harvey Oswald or his ideological leanings. The package, narrated by Brian Shactman, focused on the “unspoken speech” that President Kennedy was planning to give on the day he was shot.
Shactman just couldn’t help but mention those hateful right-wingers: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
I think we have the winner in the "If a Republican or conservative had said it" media bias category this year, if not this decade.
In the book "Double Down" by liberal journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (reviewed by Peter Hamby at the Washington Post on Friday), President Barack Obama, while discussing drone strikes in 2012, reportedly told aides that he's "really good at killing people." This would have been headline news three seconds after Hamby's review, and Hamby would have headlined it himself instead of casually mentioning it in Paragraph 11. A Google News search on an obvious search string ("really good at Killing people" obama; sorted by date) at 6:45 p.m. returns only 11 items, none of which are establishment press outlets. Michael Kelley at Business Insider, which did not show up among the search items returned, had some interesting thoughts on Obama's alleged remark Saturday evening (bolds are mine throughout this post; Update: important links relating to CIA practices which can only be considered barbaric are in the original):
During the 2011-2012 controversy over Wisconsin's Act 10, the establishment press, led by the Associated Press, clearly took sides against Badger State Republican Governor Scott Walker and the GOP-led legislature. No one was more blatantly biased than the AP's Scott Bauer, who repeatedly insisted in 2011 and 2012 that the law "strip(s) most public employees of their union right to collectively bargain." It does not. While Act 10 sharply limits the scope of what can be negotiated, it does not eliminate unions' right to exist, or to negotiate.
Walker will be releasing a new book, "Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge," in November. Given the sustained national attention Act 10 received, the utlimately failed recall movement it inspired, and Walker's possible interest in seeking the nation's presidency in 2016, it's reasonable to believe that the AP would have wanted to carry Bauer's Monday morning review of the book as a national story. But thus far, it has not. I believe it's because Bauer comes across as a fundamentally dishonest and embarrassingly partisan sore loser.
After the veterans' march against National Park Service barricades on Sunday, last Tuesday's rally for amnesty could be studied for contrasts...except the networks almost entirely skipped over those protests. ABC and NBC aired nothing.
CBS offered eight seconds, a 22-word snippet in their "Eye Opener" quick-clip segment at the start of Wednesday's This Morning: "An arrest for several Congress members as they rallied with thousands of others outside the Capitol building in support of immigration overhaul." Did they choose protecting Obama's image during the shutdown over pushing the amnesty agenda?
Sen. Ted Cruz was heckled during his speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington on Friday. He joked they were from Organizing For America, the converted Obama campaign organization. But MRCTV’s Dan Joseph interviewed the hecklers after they were ejected at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
One woman said the group of hecklers were with a group called the “Fair Immigration Reform Movement,” which is a project of the radical-left Center for Community Change. Joseph asked if a family-values summit was the right venue for heckling for amnesty. Several hecklers said the “ripping apart” of illegal-alien families was always relevant:
About 40 leftists assembled with an unauthorized adult-size Elmo to protest the presence of capitalist David Koch on the board of Boston PBS superstation WGBH. They decried Koch as a “climate denier” and a “polluter” and demanded his resignation from the panel. The Elmo knockoff held a sign that said “Elmo Love WGBH / Elmo No Love Koch Lies.”
Conservatives apparently can’t serve at a PBS station in any way, for it compromises the system’s “independence.” That’s a code word for “hermetically sealed liberal bias.” "It’s not because we disagree with Mr. Koch politically,” argued protesting Rev. Fred Small in the Boston Herald. “It’s because he is about the destruction of politics in America as we know it.” Conservative dissent equals destruction of democracy. But the Reverend also dipped into the KKK basket:
The Washington Post typically boosted a leftist rally for amnesty for illegal immigrants, with one major difference – they utterly ignored the hypocrisy of the Obama administration and the National Park Service closing open spaces in Washington, unless a left-wing protest was scheduled.
A 6 p.m. Google News search on "Occupy Movement" (not in quotes, sorted by date) returned 69 items dated September 16 and 17.
The same search adding the word "capitalism" returned only two items. This is odd, because, as one of the two items returned noted, "capitalism" — as in ending it — is the core platform of the few who remain involved with the two year-old movement.
If President Barack Obama is losing Al Hunt, there is definitely trouble in Lefty-land.
But let's not go too far. In the midst of leveling criticisms at Obama as "bordering on incompetence," the former host of CNN's Capital Gang and executive editor at Bloomberg News, who is now a Bloomberg View columnist and host of a Bloomberg TV's Political Capital Sunday news show, cited three examples of supposedly indisputable George W. Bush administration incompetence, none of which fits the description.
Barack Obama ran for president as the last of the red-hot pacifists, so it might have sounded preposterous to predict that after a few security briefings at the White House, President Obama would follow in the same policy footsteps of horrid warmonger George Bush, with his anti-terrorist wars and strategies.
It must be nice to blithely talk about how you would spend somebody else's money without thinking through the consequences.
Kendall Fells, the organizing director of Fast Food Forward in New York, told Yahoo Finance's Bernice Napatch at its Daily Ticker site that "McDonald’s made $5.5 billion in profits and there’s plenty of money to pay the workers who work there and new hires without firing anyone.” As was the case with a Detroit protester's claim that "McDonald’s made like $500 billion last year" noted earlier today, Napatch did not challenge Fells's fallacy. After the jump, we'll come up with a better estimate showing that the company and its franchisees couldn't pay their employees $15 an hour even if they burned through all of their current restaurant operating income in trying.