Saying that it "perpetuates a subtle myth," a senior Pentagon official has responded to an AP story that appeared earlier this week, attracting considerable national coverage, regarding the drop in military enlistment by African-Americans. In comments to this NewsBuster, Bill Carr, the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy [photo], said that "the AP left readers with an impression that something sinister was emerging, but one must by unusually cynical to miss the real story."
The AP story reported that the number of blacks joining the military "has plunged by more than one-third since the Afghanistan and Iraq wars began. Other job prospects are soaring and relatives of potential recruits increasingly are discouraging them from joining the armed services."
The story describes a Sean Glover in Washington, D.C., who "said he has done all he can to talk black relatives out of joining the military," quoting Glover to this effect:
"I don't think it's a good time. I don't support the government's efforts here and abroad. There's other ways you can pay for college. There's other ways you can get your life together. Joining the Army, the military, comes at a very high price."
Said Carr: "this perpetuates a subtle myth that minorities suffer death or injury disproportionately. The opposite is true as a function of voluntary career selections -- choices that we celebrate. In fact, African-Americans continue to advantage their futures through valuable job training in fields such as medical or dental technician."
I could not leave this untouched. Joan Biskupic, the same Supreme Court reporter I accused of sounding like a John McCain press flack, has given us a gem of a skewed report on a 5-4 decision today about the use of race as a factor in managing public school registration.
Let's walk through it shall we?
When reporting on a key Supreme Court ruling, it's kind of nice to give readers a glance of the reasoning of the majority first. Makes sense, right. After all, the focus is supposed to be the party at suit that, well, WINS. But Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote for the majority, isn't quoted until the 9th paragraph. Justice Kennedy's more restrained concurring opinion is referenced in the fourth, but it's dissenting liberal Justice Stephen Breyer who draws first ink in the third paragraph.
Below are the first four paragraphs (my emphasis in bold), punctuated by my commentary:
As a follow-up to my previous post, I thought I'd take a look at the inane headlines for coverage of the 5-4 ruling today that restricts school districts from using race to manage school populations. Time and the Los Angeles Times are real howlers:
In a landmark 5-4 case today, the U.S. Supreme Court found that two school systems had improperly used race as a consideration in managing the public school districts. Web sites for many newspapers have carried Associated Press coverage of the ruling, and the later the revision of the AP report, the more information tends to be packed in them.
As of 1:15 a.m. Eastern when I started this post*, the Los Angeles Times front page linked to an AP story published just before 11 a.m. Eastern. But in that version of the AP story, Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, is not quoted at all. Yet a similar AP story (perhaps the same story but with fewer paragraphs edited out) was published just minutes later in the Washington Examiner.
On this afternoon's "Tucker Carlson" on MSNBC, the eponymous host mentioned that Barack Obama had travelled to NYC to seek the support of Charles Barron of Brooklyn. Carlson knows Barron well, the NYC Councilman being a frequent guest on Tucker's show. Carlson described Barron as a "pretty straightforward racist, pretty straightforward black nationalist, anti-white character, exactly the kind of person you would not expect Obama to be courting." He then asked guest Jonathan Alter: "What is Obama doing?
SENIOR NEWSWEEK EDITOR JONATHAN ALTER: "Well, I think Obama wants the support of everybody, and I think the question is whether he can have a tent that's actually as big as the United States . . . The whole point of his campaign Tucker is to say "don't judge me by any one of my supporters, I'm trying to get a super-big tent here" . . . I think it would be unfair to hold any of his supporter's politics, you know, hold him accountable for what Charles Barron thinks.
Tucker wasn't buying, and drew the logical analogy.
MSNBC HOST TUCKER CARLSON: If Rudy Giuliani went down and asked David Duke for his support, would you say, "you know, it's unfair to hold Rudy Giuliani accountable for what David Duke said?" No, of course not! You'd write a cover story attacking him. That's a ludicrous point.
Last week, author Salman Rushdie was made a knight by Queen Elizabeth, setting off many in the Islamic world on account of his authorship of a novel which made fun of Mohammad and implied he manufactured his religion. Since its publication, The Satanic Verses has earned Rushdie death threats and even bounties for anyone who could kill the author or those who helped publish the novel; his knighting reignited those flames of hatred.
Curiously absent in all this has been the American press which is quick to condemn outbursts of intolerance (on a much smaller and less violent nature) when they come from the Christian community. L.A. Times media reporter Tim Rutten picked up on this (h/t Patterico):
you're wondering why you haven't been able to follow all the columns
and editorials in the American press denouncing all this homicidal
nonsense, it's because there haven't been any. And, in that great
silence, is a great scandal.
The front of the Washington Post Style section on Saturday was dominated by two features on Hollywood stereotyping. At the bottom was Teresa Wiltz suggesting that Angelina Jolie playing Afro-Cuban Mariane Pearl in "A Mighty Heart" is somehow comparable to blackface minstrel shows. But that's not as odd as the top story by William Booth on stereotyped Arab villains, illustrated by the cartoon image of Jafar, the villainous vizier in the Disney cartoon "Aladdin." Earth to the Post: everyone in "Aladdin," heroes and villains, is Arab.
Booth's story actually only raised the issue of the opening song lyrics of "Aladdin," which joked about vicious ear-slicing barbarians, which the Arab-American activists successfully pressed Disney to remove. After that scrubbing, I imagine the children would also hear about "Ali Baba and the Forty Upstanding Merchants." The star of the Booth piece, retired professor Jack Shaheen, also deplored the Fox drama "24" as "the worst of smears" for portraying American Arabs as the terrorist next door. Booth began in Los Angeles:
Writing at Beliefnet, Rod Dreher makes a good point (h/t Small Dead Animals) about how radical Muslims have learned how to manipulate the Western media's guilt complex:
The US media, by and large, gives the leadership of the Muslim community in America largely uncritical treatment, and accepts their duplicitous words at face value. In "Islam vs. Islamists," we meet a French Muslim filmmaker living under government protection after having not once but twice gone undercover to document Islamist radicalism in Europe, including the "double discourse" of Islamists saying one thing to a non-Muslim audience, and quite another when talking to Muslims. I've seen a related phenomenon in person on several occasions, in which Islamist leaders mouth soothing banalities about peace, love and tolerance, but get angry when you point out contradictions between their self-serving rhetoric and the reality of what they believe and advocate. Watching the film last night, I gasped at the grainy clip of several women being stoned to death -- aired after an Islamist imam in Canada said that adulterers should be stoned to death. I've heard the very same thing come out of the mouth of a Dallas lay Islamic leader, twice. He's a smart and accomplished man, and very smooth -- yet to his credit, I guess, he's not ashamed of the barbarity of what he believes. At least he's honest about it. Anyway, as Dr. Jasser points out, the American news media is so intimidated by CAIR and other Islamist and shadow-Islamist organizations that they serve as the Islamists' useful dupes -- making it that much more difficult for voices like Dr. [Zuhdi] Jasser's to be heard.
Al Roker was one of the villagers with torches who stormed the castle demanding that Don Imus be fired, but now the foot is in the other mouth. On the June 7 edition of the “Today” show, during a segment discussing London's truly horrible 2012 Olympic logo, which was said to have driven people into epileptic seizures upon viewing, Roker cracked a joke about the disorder. Without turning inflecting a politically correct tone or blowing the situation out of proportion, the New York Post reported his comments and next-day apology (hat tip: Insignificant Thoughts):
"Remember that controversial Olympic logo for the 2012 Olympics in London? Some folks have complained that the campaign actually sent them into epileptic seizures," Roker said on Thursday's show.
"Well, we asked you to weigh in on our Web site in an informal poll; those of you who could get up off the floor after shaking around were able to actually log in…"
I guess things have changed since Roker wrote in his blog that he was sick of the “ 'humor' at others expense” and “the cruelty that passes for funny” (bold mine throughout):
"Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." - George Wallace, from his 1963 inaugural speech as Governor of Alabama.
"No amnesty today, no amnesty tomorrow, no amnesty ever." - New York Times editorial, June 9th, 2007, describing opponents of the proposed immigration law.
If you oppose the proposed immigration law that, "pathway to citizenship" aside, would immediately give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, you're not merely wrong. In the eyes of the New York Times, you're a knuckle-dragging nativist, no better than hard-core segregationists of the Jim Crow era.
That is the message of A Failure of Leadership, the Times' editorial of today, lamenting the collapse Thursday in the Senate of the immigration bill.
Touting it as “some unusually direct talk today from Democratic candidate Barack Obama on the issue of race, something he rarely focuses on in his speeches,” NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday decided to showcase a clip of Obama delivering a standard liberal critique of President Bush for not spending enough federal money on social programs. Williams relayed how “Obama said the Bush administration has done little to address what he called 'a quiet riot' of discontent and despair among blacks in this country, one that erupted in L.A. 15 years ago and has been building again since the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.”
In the clip, NBC viewers heard Obama issue the hardly unusual liberal talking point that “this administration was color blind in its incompetence” before he avoided holding those in question responsible for their own plight: “All the hurricane did was make bare what we ignore each and every day, which is that there are whole sets of communities that are impoverished, whole sets of communities that don't have meaningful opportunity and don't have hope and are forgotten.”
The three charts at the end of this post from the Bureau of Labor Statistics should be cause for concern.
They show the unemployment rates for Blacks (African-Americans), all teens, and African-American teens during the past 10 years.
Each low unemployment-rate point achieved in 2000, when the overall unemployment rate reached its low point of 3.8%, was much lower than it is currently. Specifically:
The Black/African American unemployment rate is 1.5% point higher (8.5% currently, 7.0% in April 2000). The percentage of African-Americans who are unemployed is still 21% higher (8.5/7.0) than it was at its low point in 2000.
The teen unemployment rate is 3.4% point higher (15.7% currently, 12.3% in June 2000). The percentage of teens who are unemployed is still 28% higher (15.7/12.3) than it was at its low point in 2000.
The Black/African American teen unemployment rate is 10.4% point higher (30.4% currently, 20.0% in April 2000). The percentage of African-American teens who are unemployed is still 52% higher (30.4/20.0) than it was at its low point in 2000.
If the 2007 unemployment rates in the these categories were the same as they were in 2000, the overall unemployment rate would be about 0.3% lower, and much closer to its 2000 low.
In the MSM world of NBC, the only "rights" groups are liberal ones. And Supreme Court justices, at least women ones, are there to serve as advocates for their sex.
That was evident from the segment "Today" ran this morning, focusing on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The gist was that with Sandra Day O'Connor gone, it's a lonely struggle for Ginsburg as the high court's sole woman. "Today" portrayed that struggle not between liberals and conservatives, but between conservatives and various "rights" groups.
Campbell Brown introduced the segment.
'TODAY' WEEKEND TODAY CO-HOST CAMPELL BROWN: One thing as clear as the Court moves into its final weeks of the current session, it is much different place with just one female place among nine high court justices."
National Review contributor John Derbyshire has been a favorite whipping boy of snarky left-wing bloggers for a while, but perhaps most noticeably after some controversial postings he made on the heels of the Virginia Tech shooting.
But now a blogger at Wonkette is portraying Derb as a crotchety bigot on the basis of a blog post whereby Derbyshire notes Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) both insists on voters judging him on the basis of his leadership and agenda, not race, but then goes back to pandering to a crowd on the merits of his Hispanic heritage:
Outraged over Big Bill’s public admission of Mexican-ness during a time
when Americans are supposed to be united against the Mexican Menace,
Derbyshire bravely decides to use that very Mexican-ness against
In a failed attempt by the New York Times to provide some balance to its shoddy pro-prosecution coverage of the Duke lacrosse "rape" hoax, Sunday's Sports section featured sports reporter Pete Thamel's profile of the reinvigorated 2007 Duke lacrosse team, which that morning was on the verge of making it to lacrosse's "Final Four" (Duke advanced, winning the day's match against instate rival North Carolina).
Yet in "This Time, Spotlight Is Kinder to Duke," Thamel managed to locate ubiquitous popular culture commenter Robert Thompson to make the defensive suggestion that while the Duke players may have been innocent of rape, they may have been guilty of…being college students:
Trying to stir trouble for Rush Limbaugh this morning over his "Magic Negro" parody about Barack Obama, "Today" relied on misleading comments from a left-wing outfit without bothering to mention its highly-partisan orientation. NewsBuster Noel Sheppard had given readers a heads-up about the story on Saturday.
NBC's Michael Okwu narrated the segment, aired during the second half-hour of this morning's show. He began by harkening back to Don Imus's MSNBC career-ending comments about the Rutger's women's basketball team. Fretted Okwu: "which leads some to wonder: has Limbaugh been getting a free pass?" Okwu described the creator of the parody [Paul Shanklin] as a "white" political satirist.
Thanks to the right blogosphere, the media's virtual embargo on the gruesome murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, the young white Tennessee couple who were gangraped and killed by a group of black criminals, has finally begun to break. Fox News reported the story yesterday. Hot Air has the video.
If the AP didn’t write about it, it didn’t happen, right? In an article about a topic I blogged earlier in the week here at Newsbusters, the AP also reported it, but with a different angle. The Primary Source, a conservative newspaper at Boston’s Tufts University was charged with harassment and creating a hostile environment on campus by publishing what the paper called political parody; they were found guilty of the charges by a disciplinary panel. The catch is, the AP worded it in a way that only reported half the story and ignored the paper's other harassment complaint that the panel was judging-at the same time-a fact-based satire of Islam.
The sudden force that the liberal press brought to bear on the falsely accused Duke lacrosse team has been curiously absent on a much more grisly crime committed against a white couple by a group of black youths.
Personally, I don't think that local crime issues should ever be covered in the national press but if the media are going to cover them, they need to be consistent. My friend La Shawn Barber has a must-read post on the matter:
I wouldn't call this the ideal outcome but it's definitely progress. Michael McGee, the racist liberal talk show host who said he wished a local conservative talker had burned to death along with his mother has been suspended "indefinitely" from his program:
Radio station owner Jerrel Jones said Saturday that he's
indefinitely suspending Mike McGee from his radio show on WNOV-AM (860)
for remarks he made about the death of Katherine Sykes, the mother of
radio talker Charlie Sykes.
Jones would not say how long "indefinitely" might be.
"Forever is a long time, and I don't want to say something that I
may not be able to deal with," he said Saturday. "But I do want to make
it clear that he won't be on anytime soon."
It's Nitpicking Tuesday. In the Washington Post Style section, the weekday ad for the "Live Online" chats at washingtonpost.com caught my eye. Today's 1 pm session with a black Post columnist is promoted with this language:
Opinion: Columnist Eugene Robinson discusses the diversity of the Democratic presidential candidates -- and the Country Club look of the first GOP debate.
Is that their best way to say "all white, all male"? As if the Post found any "diversity" worth mentioning when the candidates were female (Elizabeth Dole) or minorities (Alan Keyes)?
An April 4 CNN.com article helped peddle the recent “Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond,” written by acclaimed “Hotel Rwanda” star Don Cheadle and former Clinton administration official John Prendergast, who is now a “human rights activist” and an advisor to the Soros-financed International Crisis Group.
In this Aspen Steib article, there is no mention of the 22-year civil war that devastated Southern Sudan when Arab Muslims targeted black Christians and Animists or the Bush administration’s efforts to end the wars in both Southern Sudan and Darfur. Cheadle’s intentions are probably good, but this article ignored many issues. Darfur’s crisis is complex, and this article’s approach had one note: it's Bush's fault.
Cheadle and Prendergast detail what they think what needs to be done (emphasis mine throughout):
"It is urgent that President Bush act ... to confront the Sudanese regime for the atrocities that it is committing and perpetuating to bring this genocide to an end once and for all," they write.
Directly following the tragic death of Katherine Sykes, the mother of the Wisconsin conservative radio talk show host and blogger Charlie Sykes, liberal talk show host Micheal McGee, Sr. has come out with this statement, live on his radio show (via Channel 12):
“Mother Sykes, she dead. To me it’s the vengeance of God. I ain’t got
no tears. Matter of fact a woman that would have a fool like that
deserve whatever is coming her. She raised a sure enough idiot,” McGee
said on his radio show. “My instincts say Charlie Sykes killed his
momma, cuz she live out in this big palace in Mequon all isolated. He
got tired of waiting for her money.”
Where is the outrage? Only one small local media outlet, Channel 12, and a number of blogs (Badger Blogger, Marquette Warrior, Michelle Malkin and Gop3.com) have covered it. If this story was reversed, and a conservative said this about McGee's mother, the entire national media along with Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be on the scene. The article on Channel 12 has indicated that McGee's next show will not air but subsequent shows are not in jeopardy yet. Without public outcry, this type of double standard will continue.
The New York Times' quest for social justice knows no out-of-bounds, judging by the front-page placement Wednesday of "Study of N.B.A. Sees Racial Bias in Calling Fouls" by sportswriter Alan Schwarz. Years after failing to secure Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor the right to golf at Augusta National Golf Club, the Times has now turned to the plight of multimillionaire NBA players who get bad foul calls.
"An academic study of the National Basketball Association, whose playoffs continue tonight, suggests that a racial bias found in other parts of American society has existed on the basketball court as well.
"A coming paper by a University of Pennsylvania professor and a Cornell University graduate student says that, during the 13 seasons from 1991 through 2004, white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players.
In the wake of NBC's and MSNBC's embarrassment over the firing of Don Imus for his racial insensitivity to black women on the Rutgers basketball team, NBC News promoted Lyne Pitts, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), to be vice president of NBC News. Mrs. Pitts, the wife of CBS correspondent Byron Pitts, has ascended rapidly since she arrived to produce the Weekend Today programs in February 2006.
It's not hard to imagine this has a lot to do with assuaging the roiling internal rage over Imus that boiled over in that meeting NBC News President Steve Capus had with Al Roker and the gang before Imus was canned. Don't miss this sentence in her job description: "She also serves as the division's point person on diversity issues."
Blogger, law professor and case expert KC Johnson has noted the Times has never corrected falsehoods in the timeline in Wilson's August 25 story. Wilson's Saturday piece hews closer to the truth, but without acknowledging his original errors.
Imagine a conservative congressperson doing something this unhinged and not getting raked over the coals in the press (Wall Street Journal link requires subscription):
Tuesday was Africa Malaria Day, and Michigan Representative John Conyers marked the event by inviting something called the Pesticide Action Network to Capitol Hill to denounce DDT as an unsafe malaria intervention. What was he thinking?
Malaria, which is spread through mosquito bites, kills about a million people annually, mostly children and pregnant women in Africa. We're not sure where the House Judiciary Chairman got his medical expertise, but he won't reduce that death toll by promoting disinformation about DDT and malaria prevention. And at taxpayers' expense, no less.
PAN and a shrinking band of other activist know-nothings insist that employing DDT against malaria is "especially dangerous for developing infants and children," but there is no scientific basis to the claim. Zip.
What a rare bit of good news to report. Finally a member of the media has apologized to the falsely smeared Duke men's lacrosse team. Ruth Sheehan, staff writer at the Raleigh News Observer, offers this apology in Monday's edition:
Members of the men's Duke lacrosse team: I am sorry.
Surely by now
you know I am sorry. I am writing these words now, and in this form, as
a bookend to 13 months of Duke lacrosse coverage, my role in which
started with a March 27 column that began:
"Members of the men's Duke lacrosse team: You know. We know you know."
was when Durham police and District Attorney Mike Nifong were
describing a "wall of silence" among the men who attended the
now-vaunted lacrosse party at 610 Buchanan Blvd. Nifong, now described
by the state attorney general as a "rogue prosecutor," was widely
respected as solid, even understated.
When three white Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of raping a black stripper were finally declared innocent by the attorney general of North Carolina earlier this month, New York Times critics focused on the paper's lousy coverage of the case, including Times Watch (citing research by law writer Stuart Taylor Jr.) and most prominently Fox News anchor Brit Hume on his April 12 "Special Report."
Even as the case fell apart and other liberal media outlets backed away, the Times issued a notorious 5,000-word portrait of the case on August 25, 2006, in which reporter Duff Wilson concluded that there was enough evidence against the players for local prosecutor Michael Nifong the case to trial.
As usual, company man Calame lets the Times off easier than it deserves, but his mild, overly faithful criticism does tease out a few nuggets of insight.