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.
Could this be the start of the same kind of “do nothing Congress” media push for the Democratic majority that we saw for the Republicans in 2006? The September 25 article “Bush Eager for Budget Showdown” highlighted the Democrats' failure to send even a single bill to President Bush and even included a few stinging comments.
Don't worry libs, the AP still managed to subtly paint an image of uncaring Republicans thwarting the generous Democrats who just want to make life better by spending more money on domestic projects, while ignoring the legitimate reasons for opposing the bills.
MSNBC.com highlights the AP story with the headline "Gay characters disappearing from network TV." But as is often typically the case, the situation is not as dire as it seems. The first paragraph reads:
A new report says a total of seven series on the five broadcast networks feature regular lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters this season, down from nine last season. The number has dropped for the past three years, according to the annual "Where We Are on TV" study by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
"Studies" of this type will never produce "satisfactory" results since they would require an increase every year! In addition, with the "massive" decrease of two whole shows not featuring gay characters this season, doesn't this mean that it is likely some other "underrepresented group" thus gained representation?
Scientists from all over the world are coming out strongly against an inexcusably hysterical article recently published by the planet's leading wire service.
As NewsBusters reported Saturday, the Associated Press published an unbelievably disgraceful article about global warming induced sea level rises supposedly destined to wipe out large amounts of American coastal communities in the next 100 years.
Do student journalists understand the difference between free speech and common sense? If they are at Colorado State University, the answer appears to be a resounding no. According to the Associated Press, the editorial staff of the student-run Colorado State University newspaper The Rocky Mountain Collegian published an editorial which in its entirety read'Taser This... F*** Bush'. Then the student staff claimed that it was all about free speech,
Collegian Editor David McSwane said a group of seven student editors discussed the statement for several hours before agreeing to publish it. "We felt it illustrated our point about freedom of speech," McSwane told 7NEWS. "I think we could write 250 words and ramble on and I don't think anyone would pay attention."
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).
The political battle over climate change has clearly taken a dramatic turn for the worse this month, for it now seems media are actually competing to see which outlet can present the most hysterical report concerning imminent planetary doom at the hands of manmade global warming.
*****Critical updates at end of post.
After ABC News published a disgraceful photo essay featuring computer generated pictures of drowned American cities at its website last Friday, followed by NBC News reporting Monday that Greenland's ice sheets are melting so quickly that it "could ignite worldwide disaster," the Associated Press on Saturday cautioned that "In about a century, some of the places that make America what it is may be slowly erased."
Seems almost like they're playing a game of "Can You Top This" doesn't it?
Sadly, as demonstrated by some of the following lowlights from this truly irresponsible piece of detritus, media are clearly putting on a full-court press to scare Americans into believing the world will quickly come to an end if we don't start doing exactly what soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore tells us (emphasis added throughout):
Can the Associated Press distinguish between racial supremacy groups and civil rights groups? Apparently not. AP writer Maria Sudekum Fisher covers the appointment of 73 year old Frances Semler to Kansas City's parks board, which Fisher opposes because Semler is a member of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps. As Fisher writes,
But Frances B. Semler's appointment could now cost the city millions of dollars because she is a member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a group that advocates vigilante patrolling of the Mexican border and reports illegal immigrants to authorities.
A landmark decision concerning car companies and global warming was handed down by a federal judge in California on Monday. Yet, most people are likely not going to hear about it, because the ruling goes counter to the media's agenda.
As reported by the Associated Press (emphasis added throughout): "District Judge Martin Jenkins in San Francisco handed California Attorney General Jerry Brown's environmental crusade a stinging rebuke when he ruled that it [sic] impossible to determine to what extent automakers are responsible for global-warming damages in California."
How delicious. But, there was much more about this decision the press will likely keep from people outside of California:
Two months after the U.S. military declared him as bogus as a three-dinar bill, ABC News continues to identify one "Abu Omar al-Baghdadi" as head of al Qaeda in Iraq [AQI].
Here's the background: a major goal of al Qaeda is to convince Iraqis [as well, presumably, as gullible members of the U.S. congress] that AQI is a home-grown organization with only the most tenuous links to al Qaeda. At a press briefing of July 18th, 2007, Brigadier General Kevin Bergner stated the following:
Associated Press has a funny way of reporting on advocacy ads -- a very imbalanced way. A few weeks ago, AP reported that a liberal group called Americans Against Escalation in Iraq bought TV time to attack Senators in their home states. (Except, of course, they weren’t called "liberal," just "anti-war.") The AP reporter mentioned MoveOn.org was one of the members of this coalition, but there was no explanation of who was providing the commercial cash.
But when AP writer Jim Kuehnenn covered a new blitz from the Bush-supporting group Freedom’s Watch, notice how they got out their investigator’s hats to find the "billionaires" and "conservative philanthopists" and former Bush men providing the dough:
The group is financed by former White House aides and Republican fundraisers and was organized as a nonprofit organization under IRS rules. It is not required to identify its donors or the amounts they give.
This USA Today story about an AP report should be called headline abuse instead of "detainee abuse" because if one were to just read the headline and move on, you'd get the wrong impression about what the story really reveals. You'd obviously read USA Today's headline, "Guantanamo detainees tell of abuses," and assume the story is another abu Ghraib styled yarn about how evil US soldiers are abusing these poor, poor terrorists in the Guantanamo Bay detainment facility -- after all the prevailing MSM story has been just that when the word "abuses" is used. But, if you take the time to actually read the story, there seems less of the "abuses" you'd expect to find and more of how the detainees themselves are abusing each other, themselves, and their guards. Instead of BEING abused, the detainees seem more like the abusers and this is certainly not the message that the headline imparts in today's MSM climate. One wonders why USA Today would want to leave such a wrong conclusion with a headline that doesn't quite seem to match the story.
Whenever the United Nations makes any dire proclamation about the future of the planet, whether dealing with global warming, the environment, war, or poverty, you can be sure media will give it great attention.
Yet, when the World Federation of UN Associations released its extraordinarily optimistic "State of the Future" report Monday, with positive news about literacy, mortality, economic growth, and poverty reduction, the press couldn't care less.
In fact, despite the Associated Press, which true to form cherry-picked one negative finding in this study for its article on the subject, absolutely no American media outlets shared this report's release. Not one.
Fortunately, thousands of miles away, Agence France-Presse felt this astoundingly upbeat study from the Millennium Project was newsworthy (emphasis added throughout, h/t Benny Peiser):
The “La Raza” organization of Hispanics could hardly be more racist. “La Raza” means “The Race” — the Mexican race. But are they ever criticized for that? Not that I have heard. In fact, we read below in the left-leaning Associated Press that “La Raza” is “a mainstream advocacy group”.
“Charlie Norwood, a congressman from Georgia who died earlier this year, appeared to accept the conspiracy at face value, accusing the National Council of La Raza, a mainstream Washington advocacy group, of acting as a front organization for the “radical racist group” MEChA, or Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan.
Bush’s decision to wage a vendetta against Saddam Hussein as retribution for the Sept. 11 attacks — six years ago Tuesday — led to many miscalculations and mistakes.
And what evidence does Raum offer in support of his astonishing theory that the Iraq war was Pres. Bush's "vendetta" against Saddam "for the Sept. 11 attacks"? Uh, Tom will have to get back to us on that . . .
How many times have we seen it where the MSM refuses to mention the Party affiliation of an accused public figure, convicted felon or otherwise notorious personage if that person in the news happens to be a Democrat? It seems to happen nearly other day in the MSM, doesn't it? Conversely, should that newsworthy person be a Republican, well the MSM seems to fall all over themselves to mention that he is a Republican -- and usually in the first few sentences. Well, it looks like the MSM is now branching out to mentioning party status even of relatives of a notorious person in the news should there be a Republican in the family! It's as if just having a Republican family member alone explains the bad conduct as far as the Media are concerned.
Here we have the case of one William Smith, Jr., who is currently waiting to find out if the U.S. government is going to acquiesce to a request by the government of Peru for his extradition to face murder charges. Smith is accused of murdering his Peruvian wife while living in that country. It's a sad story of internet dating gone bad, and tawdry all the way around. Certainly, we hope justice is done.
But HOW does Smith's Father being a local Republican have anything to do with this story?
The deadline for talks between the United Auto Workers and the Formerly Big Three automakers (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler) theoretically looms on September 14.
No one has more at stake in a sweetheart deal than Ford, for reasons almost entirely of its own making.
Oh, the Dearborn-based company has the same daunting challenges as its other brethren at the bargaining table: a too-high cost structure, expensive retiree health-care costs, and a product line in need of serious work. That much is known.
What isn't as well-known, and rarely understood, is that Ford has embarked on a seven-year journey of uber-Politicial Correctness that now threatens to gut its core US vehicle business.
Persistent Bush critic and recurring Sunday morning talk show fixture Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is announcing his retirement from the U.S. Senate. Reporting the story in the Sunday paper, the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Chris Cillizza described the Iraq war critic as a "mainstream conservative who raised his profile nationally through his fierce opposition to President Bush's Iraq policies."
While it is true that Hagel has a respectable 85.2 (out of a possible 100) lifetime score from the American Conservative Union, the Associated Press's Anna Jo Bratton more colorfully described the senator as "a thorn in his party's side when it comes to Iraq." The characterization is apt but perhaps a bit charitable given the retiring politician's suggestion that President Bush could be impeached over the war.
While both the Bratton and Post accounts focused on Hagel's retirement as another obstacle in the uphill battle for control of the Senate in 2008, neither article mentioned that Hagel made an oblique reference in March to the potential to impeach President George W. Bush over the Iraq war:
Almost everybody within earshot of a broadcasting device yesterday knows that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a net loss of 4,000 jobs in the economy in August. Unemployment rate, at 4.6%, was unchanged.
Reporting, and misreporting, by the New York Times and Associated Press set Old Media's template for the story. Some reports, including this one by Vikas Bajaj at the Times, laid the entire onus of the loss on private companies:
Companies reduced their payrolls by 4,000 jobs in August, a sudden turnaround from the net increase of 68,000 jobs in July.
Fugitive Democratic Party donor Norman Hsu was arrested today in Colorado, according to the Associated Press. However, while discussing the fact that many of the politicians to whom Hsu gave money are returning it or giving it to charity, the AP seems strangely reluctant to discuss the mysterious sources of Hsu's contributions. The story talks about several Democrats who are returning Hsu's gifts, and states,
The growing flap over Hsu's contributions prompted Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd to release a statement Thursday vowing "to refuse to accept or possess campaign contributions raised, solicited, or delivered by fugitives from justice."
"Growing flap". That's nice. But it would be even nicer if one of the so-called professional media organizations would devote some time to digging into the actual source of Hsu's large contributions.
Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, whose many large contributions to Democratic coffers, including Hillary Clinton came from an apparently non-existent source, has jumped bail yet again. As reported by the Associated Press,
Hsu, a Hong Kong native, was also supposed to turn over his passport Wednesday. Hsu's prominent Silicon Valley criminal defense attorney Jim Brosnahan said Hsu failed to give the passport to the legal team on Monday. "Mr. Hsu is not here and we do not know where Mr. Hsu is," Brosnahan said outside court. Brosnahan said that "there was some contact" with Hsu a few hours before the scheduled 9 a.m. court appearance, but he declined to say how and who talked to Hsu. Hsu pleaded no contest in 1991 to a felony count of grand theft, admitting he'd defrauded investors of $1 million after falsely claiming to have contracts to purchase and sell Latex gloves. He was facing up to three years in prison when he skipped town before his 1992 sentencing date.
Frustration with CENTCOM's and the military's ability and willingness to get its message out abounded late last year.
Although I'll allow that many things get past me, I have noticed bare improvements at best out of CENTCOM since then.
One blogger in Ohio has now done something about it.
Fortunately, heroic (that IS the right word) onsite milbloggers and others on the ground in Iraq have picked up much of the slack in the meantime. I would attempt to enumerate them here, but I'm sure I'll miss many who don't deserve to be overlooked. Collectively, I believe that they have conferred a degree of balance in the war-related news in two ways.
New York Times reporter Gretel Kovach reported on the tragic shooting death in Dallas of Jeffrey Carter Albrecht, the keyboard player for Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, in "Musician Is Killed For Banging On a Door." But unwittingly or not, that headline (killed for banging on a door -- talk about harsh Texas justice!) suggested the shooting was an overreaction, and Kovach's article further politicized the issue from the second sentence on.
A Texas rock musician was shot to death here early Monday by a neighbor who fired through a closed door, thinking he was scaring off a burglar.
The incident occurred just three days after a new law took effect strengthening the right of Texans to use deadly force to protect themselves and their property.
Sometimes, after you read a story from the MSM, you have to sit back and say to yourself, "just what in the heck that was all about?" Such is the case with the AP's latest titled "Clooney: Obama's like a rock star," a story that seems to present George Clooney's political opinion as if he is somehow a respected policy wonk, political pundit, or a well-known intellectual. There is no pretext for this story presenting Clooney's political meanderings and no sensible reason why the AP is presenting his blather as news. The AP just presents it straight forwardly as if it is somehow news we all just need to know. All in all, it is an amazing report for its senselessness, cluelessness, and pointlessness. On the other hand, it fits to a tee with the APs editorial position on politics and the world and this fact alone surely accounts for its publication.
The week had a gusher of economic news, and most of it was favorable:
Thursday, 2nd Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was revised sharply upward to 4.0% from July's initial estimate of 3.4%; the final GDP number for the second quarter comes out in late September.
The most comprehensive quarterly housing report issued, from the government's Office for Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), showed that home prices nationwide increased ever so slightly during the 2nd quarter, and were 3.19% higher than a year earlier. That year-over-year result is greater than inflation during the same period.
The only really bad news I can think of at the moment: Consumer confidence took a hit in two different reports during the week (here and here).
Well of course consumer confidence was due for a hit. With the press, especially Time Magazine, working overtime to make the housing situation look like the crisis of the century, it's a wonder that anyone's getting out of bed to face the day.
Anyone who follows the MSM knows that Cuba is a virtual paradise. A land of free health care, universal literacy and low infant-mortality rates where, as Andrea Mitchell has explained to us, kids don't care about freedom and the only big problems are those caused by the U.S. Yes, Cuba is the sort of place no one would ever want to leave. Certainly not to go to live in the United States, where, as everyone knows thanks to Michael Moore's "Sicko," health care is so bad that 9-11 heroes are forced to seek help from Havana.