In a Washington Examiner column last night, Gregory Kane made several quite valid points in comparing the media firestorm over Rush Limbaugh's comments about Sarah Fluke to the virtual silence over Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul, who, if he were in charge, "would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control." Kaul also wrote that he would, "If some people refused to give up their guns," make "that 'prying the guns from their cold, dead hands' thing" operative.
Confirming what readers here would expect, a search at the Associated Press's national web site on Kaul's last name comes up empty. Key paragraphs from Kane's column follow the jump (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
One would think that a newspaper which in its view has largely made its reputation on publishing leaked government documents and revealing government secrets would have been a bit more excited about being the sole receipient of a report from the State of New York indicating that hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is safe. The State had already sat on the report for a year.
The Times published the story on January 3, but on Page A19, while changing its original strong title ("Hydrofracking Safe, Says N.Y. Health Dept. Analysis" -- seen in the browser window) to a less descriptive, boring, and somewhat deceptive "Gas Drilling Is Called Safe in New York."
On Wednesday, as President Obama signed -- er, auto-penned -- the legislation preventing the onset of the "fiscal cliff" passed by Congress the previous day, the establishment press was busy understating its impact. A Friday evening Wall Street Journal editorial (note: not a regular news report) in today's print edition lays out the gory details.
But first, I will cite four examples of coverage which pretended that 99 percent of Americans won't see their income taxes increase in 2013.
Currently in Connecticut, unlike New York, handgun permit records can't be made public. Nutmeg State legislator Stephen D. Dargan, a Democrat from West Haven and co-chairman of the legislature's public safety committee, wants to change that. Borrowing from some of the specious reasoning used by Gannett's White Plains, New York-based Journal News to justify publishing an interactive map of two counties' pistol permit holders, he wants to make handgun permit information to be publicly accessible.
At the Hartford Courant (HT NewsMax), Jon Lender failed to deal with the issue of endangering non-permit holders because of the increased likelihood that they will be identifiable as "soft targets" (unless they happen to own rifles, for which permits are not required), and also didn't directly look into the possibility that Dargan has an additional motive -- intimidation of current and potential permit holders (bolds are mine throughout this post):
I'm almost surprised that the Politico's web site background isn't all black because of news delivered by its "On Media" reporter Dylan Byers on Tuesday.
The "bad" news is that "gun control" as a media obsession appears to have largely disappeared, especially when you consider that some of the primary remaining stories on the topic are about David Gregory's illegal but unprosecuted (as of yet) brandishing of a magazine on Meet the Press, a New York newspaper's publication of an interactive map of two counties' pistol permit dwellers, and said newspaper either feeling threatened or pushing for more publicity (my bet is on the latter) by hiring armed guards to protect its headquarters and staff from outraged readers. Here's part of Byers's narrative (charts are at the link; bolds are mine):
In a late Wednesday column at the Politico, the online website's Steven Sloan wrote that Democrats might be done hiking tax rates, specifically "that they’ve exhausted their ability to raise taxes on the richest Americans by jacking up their rates." But it's clear in later segments of his write-up that Democrats still want to go after "loopholes" and deductions, meaning that they still want to see effective marginal rates -- the ones which motivate high income earners' decisionmaking -- to get "jacked up." Such moves would also mean that the tax owed on a given amount of gross income would go up; i.e., they would be tax increases.
In suport of his misdirecting premise, Sloan quoted many Democrats, but somehow forgot to include Democratic President Barack Obama's stated position after the fiscal cliff mess concluded. In a video for supporters, as relayed by Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner, Obama didn't budge from using the same language he has used all along to justify tax increases. Gehrke's accurate headline captures the essence (video is at link; bolds are mine throughout this post):
NBC's David Gregory interviewed President Barack Obama on "Meet the Press" Sunday, and a conversation ensued that would have been more fitting for a show called "The President Meets One of His Many Mainstream Media Enablers."
Let's take a look at just some of the exchanges and fantasize how different the nation's political and electoral climate might be if the liberal press were doing its job as watchdog instead of taking sides.
An unbylined Associated Press story at 1:34 p.m. (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) disgracefully covered a federal ruling which delivered a defeat (for now) against the enforcement of ObamaCare's contraception mandate.
Unlike the Hobby Lobby situation (covered earlier today at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), where the dispute is over certain portions of the contraception mandate requiring employers to cover abortifacient drugs and devices, the ruling in the case of Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza who is now has a property management business, involves the entire contraception mandate. Monaghan nevertheless was able to get a temporary restraining order (TRO). The full five-paragraph AP report is after the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
One of the establishment press's favorite tactics to diminish the perceived strength of a position taken by people or companies they are inclined not to favor is to take objectively true facts and statements and reduce them to things only those people or companies "say" or "believe."
Hobby Lobby's court battle against the ObamaCare mandates is a perfect case in point, with both the Politico and Associated Press providing recent related examples of this fundamentally dishonest tactic. In the December 26 item at the Politico, Jennifer Haberkorn and Kathryn Smith also falsely framed the situation as an argument over "contraception" (more on that in a bit; bolds are mine throughout this post). But first, let's look at how the pair employed the "they say" tactic:
So it's come to this: While those who gather by the hundreds, thousands, and sometimes even by the hundreds of thousands in support of conservative causes or against liberal ones usually are either ignored, underestimated, or denigrated by the establishment press, one gun-grabbing advocate protesting at a local gun show gets sympathetic treatment in one-third to one-half of a two-minute segment at a local TV station, along with front-page rotation at its web site.
Readers who have followed the controversy over a New York newspaper's decision to published the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in two Empire State counties will surely note the irony in how the CBS station in Denver which covered Saturday's Tanner Gun Show at the Denver Merchandise Mart didn't name the lone protester, only referring to her in their televised report as "Karen." The woman is not named at all in the related text coverage, some of which follows the jump:
During the past two years, Republican governors and lawmakers in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan have been the targets of a great deal of negative attention from the establishment press, particularly on TV, as a result of taking necessary actions to get their states' fiscal houses in order and to become more economically competitive. Meanwhile, the Midwest's largest and Democrat-dominated state careens toward bankruptcy, and it's barely news.
In early 2011, Illinois enacted massive personal and corporate income-tax increases of 67% and 46%, respectively. The tax hikes were advertised as required to address the state's huge backlog of unpaid bills to vendors and other service providers, and to shore up its badly underfunded pension funds. Almost two years later, as two separate Associated Press reports this weekend demonstrate, the state still has a huge and possibly even larger stack of unpaid invoices, and its pension situation has worsened.
In response to Gannett's Jounal News headquartered in White Plains, New York publishing an interactive map containing the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties (previous related posts are here and here), blogger Robert Cox at NewRochelleTalk.com (HT Instapundit) has produced an interactive map at a post entitled "Where are the Journal News employees in your neighborhood?"
It contains names, addresses, and various forms of Internet presence. Some of his narrative follows the jump:
Here's another entry for the "They can dish it out but can't take it" file.
Jammie Wearing Fool is reporting, with supporting links, that Editor CynDee Royle at the Journal News headquartered in White Plains, New York, which on Saturday, as noted on Monday at NewsBusters, published an interactive map showing the names and address of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties, has taken down her Facebook page and made her Twitter account private (the latter may have been the case before the article was published). The paper has also recognized the outrage the published map cause, is offering a truly lame defense, and claims it didn't get everything it wanted (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
It's pretty close to a tie, but based on time stamps, Legal Insurrection's William Jacobson, at 11:23 a.m., was 22 minutes ahead of local DC TV station WJLA in breaking an important update to the David Gregory magazine clip saga going back to Sunday's Meet the Press program. (The classless credit hogs at Politico published a related story, didn't credit Jacobson, and while citing WJLA, failed to link to its report; thus I'm not linking to Politico.) Previous related posts on Sunday (NewsBusters; BizzyBlog) and Tuesday evening (NB; BB) only relayed the possibility that NBC might have asked DC Metro Police whether they could show a high-capacity magazine on the air.
The fresh news via Jacobson is that "NBC requested and was denied permission to use (i.e., show a) high capacity magazine in news segment" -- but went ahead and did it anyway (bolds are mine):
In a Wednesday morning report, the Associated Press's Sarah El Deeb certainly did her best to continue the ongoing campaign to convince the West that there's really nothing about which we should be concerned in Egypt's newly approved Constitution. She characterized it as "a new chapter in Egypt's two-year transition from authoritarian rule" and quoted a group whose Facebook page doesn't exist (despite that page being the first item found in a Google Web search on the group's name) telling us that the country is in "a new phase of legal disputes over legislation and control of state institutions," and that "the battle won't be very clear to regular people." I'm taking that to mean: "Don't pay any attention to us while the Muslim Brotherhoood and Islamists consolidate their power."
The AP reporter also mentioned the opposition's fears that the constitution "enshrines a prominent role for Islamic law, or Shariah, in governing the country's affairs and reinforces Islamists' hold on power." It's more than an abstract fear, because Sharia(h) is mentioned several times in the document itself (bolds are mine):
What similarities are there between a domestic terrorist organization and the alleged journalists at the Journal News headquartered in White Plains, New York? At least two biggies: total lack of respect for privacy and complete disregard for others' safety. The domestic terror group Earth First has an "EAT(IT) "Eco Assassin Team (in Training)," which has tired of "the stale old debate about adopting nonviolence as a movement principle." Accordingly, the Earth First Journal (HT to J. Christian Adams at PJ Media; those wishing to go to the original need to go there first, as I would rather not directly link) has published a top ten "'Eco-F***ers Prank-Hit List,' at least until we come up with something more creative."
The Journal News has published its own (conveniently unbylined) list, complete with interactive maps. The maps contain "the addresses (and names) of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties." Really:
While the Associated Press, New York Times, and the vast majority of the U.S. establishment press have avoided directly referring to Egypt's newly-approved constitution, spearheaded by ruler by decree Mohammed Morsi, as oriented toward imposing Muslim sharia law in that nation, the international press hasn't been so reluctant. Who do you believe, the rest of the world or your agenda-driven U.S-based news sources? Additionally, as will be seen, the constitution is so unabashedly socialist it would have been labeled communist if it had appeared any time prior to 1990.
Russia-based RT.com opened its coverage of fraud allegations Saturday as follows: "Egypt's new Sharia-based constitution has been approved in a second round of voting, the ruling Muslim Brotherhood party said." Its headline a week ago after the first round: "Egyptians vote on hotly contested sharia-based constitution." Meanwhile, the New York Times blew through over 1,000 words in "analyzing" the results, and did not mention sharia once.
On Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told an Albany radio station some of his ideas for gun control: “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”
But in covering what Cuomo said, Thomas Kaplan at the New York Times prefaced Cuomo's specific statement, which he buried in the story's seventh paragraph, by writing that "Mr. Cuomo did not offer specifics about the measures he might propose." Looks "specific" enough to me, Tom. The Times, perhaps sensing that a statement such as Mr. Cuomo's might be the kind with the potential to seriously damage the gun control cause, buried Kaplan's story on Page A29 in Friday's print edition and gave it a boring headline:
In his Sunday appearance on "Meet the Press" (HT The Blaze), New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg answered host David Gregory's first question relating to the Sandy Hook massacre by saying that "It's so unbelievable, and it only happens in America." That statement is so obviously false that I would have expected even a Bloomberg- and gun control-sympathetic press, including Gregory himself, to point out how wrong that statement is. Nope: A search on Bloomberg's name at the Associated Press at 1:45 p.m. returned four relevant articles containing Bloomberg's name; none reports that statement, let alone its erroneous nature.
Further, a Google News search on [Bloomberg "only happens in America"] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets; sorted by date) returned 42 items, most of which were versions of a short, unbylined AP Sunday report containing the incorrect Bloomberg assertion. The AP clearly made it disappear in subsequent national site dispatches without identifying the statement's falsehood. To its credit, AP did issue a correction to an earlier "worst in U.S. history" statement in a different report:
Katie Zezima at the Associated Press is the latest in a long line of reporters sucked into the fundamental dishonesty of the "Food Stamp Challenges" which have been taking place around the country for more than five years.
Zezima's misdirection came at the direction of Newark, New Jersey's Democratic mayor Cory Booker, who challenged one of his Twitter followers several weeks ago to, in Zezima's words, "try to live on the monetary equivalent of food stamps for at least a week" in connection with "a debate about the role the government should play in school nutrition funding." Those two quoted characterizations expose the two main problems with the Food Stamp Challenge. I'll explain both after excerpting a bit more of Zezima's December 11 dispatch after the jump:
One of the most frustrating elements of the just-completed presidential race was the utter failure of Mitt Romney's campaign to make sure the American people learned that their government hasn't passed a budget since April 29, 2009. It seems that because those who follow the news closely already knew that, they figured the rest of the country did, which was -- and still is -- not the case.
Of course, the other reason besides the lack of Republican and conservative assertiveness is the establishment press's utter failure to report it. Another in a long line of such failures appeared in the Politico this afternoon via David Rogers. Rogers covered how fiscal cliff discussions are delaying the White House's annual farce known as the President's budget for the 2014 fiscal year while of course failing to note that U.S. government hasn't passed a real budget for nearly four years:
If certain aspects of stories relating to an incident of gun violence don't fit the template, they usually doesn't get reported at all. But if such things somehow get some local exposure, they rarely escape into the broader national news environment. What follows is an example of the latter.
Imagine for a moment if a Christian fundamentalist pastor publicly threatened a Democratic Party governor about to sign a legitimately passed bill into law with a long-term campaign of public harassment for doing so. Now imagine if that pastor extended that threat to include appearances at the governor's home and at his children's sporting events, and that Republican and conservative elected officials on hand during the pastor's announcement voiced no objection to the pastor's threats. All of that would be news, right?
As voting on Egypt's constitution begins, an Associated Press story this morning by Aya Batrawy and Sarah El Deeb typifies how the U.S. press is only nibbling around the edges of its content. The headline reads "EGYPTIANS VOTE ON ISLAMIST-BACKED CONSTITUTION." In the story's content, the pair found an 23 year-old Egyptian engineer who told them, in their words, that "he felt the proposed constitution needed more, not less, Islamic content," and expressed a belief that "All laws have to be in line with Shariah."
Nice misdirection there. As Andrew McCarthy, "arguably the most important prosecutor in the War on Terror" and "among the most authoritative writers anywhere on the dangers of Jihad," explained at PJ Media on Wednesday morning, and as much of the non-U.S. press accurately comprehends, the proposed constitution is about institutionalizing sharia in Egypt, and the last-minute splitting of the vote, originally scheduled for only today but now taking place today and next Saturday, is about ensuring its victory at the polls (bolds are mine throughout this post):
ABCNews.com doesn’t know how to use quote marks for this headline: “Obama: More Moderate Republican Than Socialist.” Obama told a Miami interviewer that "The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican."
Lloyd Bentsen impressions are mandatory: I knew moderate Republicans in the Eighties. Moderate Republicans in the Eighties were friends of mine. Obama is no moderate Republican from the Eighties. But Jordan Fabian of ABCNews.com aggressively pushed links that Obama has agreement on the left:
The same media that were "obsessive about the need for civility in the American public conservation" is deliberately ignoring the utter lack of civility, and worse, violence, from the left as evidenced by union thug violence this past week in Lansing, Michigan, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued on the December 13 Hannity program.
"What is key here is that reporters were there. That scene is crawling with journalists. They're all there. They're seeing it with their own eyes. It's not like they missed the story, it's not like they didn't have the footage, it's not like nobody told them about it," the founder and president of the Media Research Center noted on the weekly "Media Mash" segment. "They were there, they saw it. And still, they withheld it from the public," Bozell noted, going on to call for peaceful Tea Party protests of media censorship outside the headquarters of the major networks: [Watch the full segment below the page break]
The pro-union broadcast networks are deliberately censoring footage of thuggish union violence directed at conservatives. If a Tea Partier had physically assaulted a liberal journalist or ripped down a structure occupied by a liberal organization all on video, the footage would be broadcast on an endless loop. ABC, CBS, and NBC have a responsibility to the American people to expose what’s really happening in Michigan. Their double standard is absolutely outrageous.
Both Steven Crowder and Americans for Prosperity should press charges on the parties responsible for these assaults, and they should be prosecuted. ABC, CBS, and NBC may be willing to turn a blind eye to union violence, but the unions are not above the law.
Demonstrating his and his employer's pro-union bias, Jeff Karoub at the Associated Press, in compiling a list of "5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MICH. RIGHT-TO-WORK BILLS," made "The Name Is Misleading" his first item.
As an AP journalist, Karoub is likely a member of the Occupy Movement-supporting News Media Guild. Earlier this year, his employer's recently departed chairman, acting in an official capacity representing his supposedly objective, values-driven organization, praised President Obama in terms so effusive that Charles Hurt at the Washington Times wrote that it was "more like he proposed to him." In his five-item listing, the third of which has an inchoherent title, Karoub seemed to jump right in where Obama left off in a Monday Michigan speech (bolds and numbers in headings are mine):
Perhaps hoping that readers wouldn't scroll down to peruse what followed, a Tuesday evening Detroit Free Press report by David Jesse and Lori Higgins carried at USA Today featured a video taking up my entire computer screen which consisted entirely of union protesters chanting slogans for 49 seconds.
The pair's actual report carries a misleading headline ("Mich. governor signs anti-union bills after protests") directly contradicted in their dispatch's content ("The right-to-work legislation ... makes it illegal to require financial support of a labor union as a condition of employment"). But it's their description of Tuesday's incident involving Steven Crowder and Americans for Prosperity which is the report's biggest flaw (HT Instapundit):