Now that the most recent scandal appears to be losing steam we should expect that the AP and others will return to reporting the news in an objective manner based on facts rather than speculation right? Wrong.
A news story that first circulated in 2004 is being put back into circulation because a researcher at Johns Hopkins has updated a study that was originally panned because of its high margin of error.
I bring this up only because nowhere in the article is President Bush quoted saying such a thing. Maybe he did, but it's not in the story. In a different political environment (that is, pre-Foley) that headline would have been perfectly acceptable, because in the article the president is in effect saying Democrats can't be trusted with national security. But now that Foley has been exposed and the heat is on Congress, that headline portrays the Republicans as (even more) hypocritical by calling Democrats untrustworthy.
No, this isn't a joke. Of all the possible photos available of Joe Negron, the Florida state representative who has replaced Mark Foley as the GOP congressional candidate in the 16th CD, the top one here is the one the Associated Press chose to accompany its article: FL GOP picks Foley replacement.
Congressmen come and congressmen go. But the Associated Press's liberal bias goes on forever.
UPDATE: Reuters has pulled a similar stunt. Here's the photo it chose to accompany its article on Negron's nomination.
Hat tips to Free Republic members Behind Liberal Lines re AP and bitt re Reuters.
Note: The AP can of course always change the photo accompanying an online article. It's always possible that by the time an NB reader clicks on the link provided above to the AP article, a responsible editor will have done so, perhaps even embarrassed by this NB item exposing AP's bias. But the photo displayed here was the one accompanying the AP article as originally posted. I saved it to our NB server.
First from Reuters, which has not always been very even-handed in reporting economic news, a pretty decent report:
Consumers bright, Midwest business strong in Sept
By Ros Krasny
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending slipped in August but falling gasoline prices elevated shoppers' moods by September and Midwest factory activity picked up as well, according to reports on Friday that suggested the economy was still motoring along.
Meanwhile, consumer prices outside food and energy edged up just 0.2 percent in August, although year-on-year price gains hit an 11-year high, offering a mixed reading on inflation.
Poor Martin Crutsinger of the Associated Press, on the other hand, must have had a lot of pent-up negativity to get out before the weekend commences, as he took the same data and turned it into what Jim Taranto at Best of the Web described thusly: "If we didn't know better, we'd think we were heading for another Great Depression."
It's good to know where your friends are. Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter denounced the detention of Iraqi AP photographer Bilal Hussein. (Michelle Malkin has more on the Hussein case.) He is accused of aiding terrorists and for doing activities one would not expect from a mere photographer.
A Democratic congresswoman on Wednesday cited the case of an Iraqi Associated Press photographer imprisoned by the U.S. military during debate on a prisoner treatment bill that she considers too harsh.
In a House speech, Rep. Louise Slaughter referred to Bilal Hussein, who has been detained in Iraq for more than five months.
Rush Limbaugh just mentioned that the Dems' latest strategy to keep the NIE story bubbling is to make a hullabaloo over the Bush administration's decision not to declassify and release the entire NIE report. I then turned to the Yahoo News page, and what do I find but an Associated Press article with this headline and lead paragraph:
White House refuses to release full NIE
WASHINGTON - The White House refused Wednesday to release the rest of a secret intelligence assessment that depicts a growing terrorist threat, as the Bush administration tried to quell election-season criticism that its anti-terror policies are seriously off track.
Rather than offer a reasoned analysis of a National Intelligence Estimate declassified by the Bush administration today, the AP selected only the most negative aspects of the report for inclusion in their story.
WASHINGTON - The war in Iraq has become a "cause celebre" for Islamic extremists, breeding deep resentment of the U.S. that probably will get worse before it gets better, federal intelligence analysts conclude in a report at odds with President Bush's portrayal of a world growing safer.
In the bleak report, declassified and released Tuesday on Bush's orders, the nation's most veteran analysts conclude that despite serious damage to the leadership of al-Qaida, the threat from Islamic extremists has spread both in numbers and in geographic reach.
The story, however, makes the State Department's actions seem petty and uninformed. It makes the denial of the visa seem more a result of "racism" than one based on substance. In fact, the reasons that this "scholar" was denied a visa were given short shrift whereas a defense of Ramadan was given full throat.
All Ramadan's "reasons" that he and his attorneys ascribe to the supposedly illegitimate government action are included in the article, but only one small paragraph explores the State Department's reasons for denying the visa... and that in the words of the ACLU!
Jules Crittenden, writing in the Boston Herald, examines the Associated Press' actions in light of the detention of AP photographer Bilal Hussein, captured by Coalition forces with al Qaeda terrorists and a weapons cache earlier this year:
The Associated Press, the reliable just-the-facts news agency you and I once knew, no longer exists. Amoral propagandists have taken over. It is not only in the disturbing matter of Bilal Hussein, AP photograher and al-Qaeda associate, being held without charge in U.S. custody in Iraq that this is evident. But also in the departure from balanced, nonpartisan coverage that has always been the AP’s promise to us, its customers...
Blogger and columnist Michelle Malkin has been providing new information about Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi AP photographer who is being held by the U.S. government on charges of colluding with terrorists. The AP pretended the story didn't exist for five months, but when it finally admitted the truth, it also fired back a rebuttal to one of her recent columns. Said Malkin in her Sep. 20 column:
On April 12, I learned from military sources that an Associated Press photographer in Iraq, Fallujah native Bilal Hussein, had been captured in Ramadi in an apartment with insurgents and a cache of weapons. This was news. I asked the AP for confirmation. Corporate spokesman Jack Stokes informed me that company officials were "looking into reports that Mr. Hussein was detained by the U.S. military in Iraq but have no furthhttp://newsbusters.org/node/add/bloger details at this time." After reporting the alleged detention on my blog ( michellemalkin.com/archives/005941.htm), I followed up several more times with AP over the past five months for status updates on Hussein. No reply.
After trying to cover up the story for five months, the AP was finally forced to acknowledge that one of their own was being detained.
Let me repeat that: An Associated (with terrorists) Press journalist gets caught with an alleged al Qaeda leader and tests positive for bomb-making materials. That. Is. News. How does a news organization explain away its decision to sit on it for five months? Like this: "The AP has worked quietly until now, believing that would be the best approach."
The best approach to journalism? No. The best approach to suppressing a damning connection to terrorists.
Editor's note: Dan Riehl has uncovered some more apparent photo staging by AP photographer Bilal Hussein. Due to the graphic nature of the photos involved, we aren't posting the photos to the front page. Click the "read more" link to follow the story...
This story about a Vietnamese man who was a spy for the communists during the war as well as a reporter for Reuters and Time magazine is nothing short of an outrage. It also makes you wonder how many agents for totalitarianism are working in the press today. An's assertions of impartiality are all too familar as well. (An old MRC MediaWatch item on him is here.)
HANOI, Vietnam - Pham Xuan An, who led a remarkable and perilous double life as a communist spy and a respected reporter for Western news organizations during the Vietnam War, died Wednesday at age 79. [...]
In the history of wartime espionage, few were as successful as An. He straddled two worlds for most of the 15-year war in Indochina as an undercover communist agent while also working as a journalist, first for Reuters news service and later for 10 years as Time magazine's chief Vietnamese reporter — a role that gave him access to military bases and background briefings.
He was so well-known for his sources and insight that many Americans who knew him suspected he worked for the CIA.
Before Saigon fell to the communists, An worked to help friends escape, including South Vietnam's former security chief who feared death if he was found by northern forces. An later revealed his true identity as a Viet Cong commander, but said he never reported any false information or communist propaganda while in his role as a journalist.
In a clear attempt to throw cold water on the potential positive economic impact of falling energy prices, an Associated Press article yesterday got sloppy with the credentials of those it sought out for quotes. It also conveyed a false impression that all of those quoted were not impressed with what falling energy prices might do for the economy. Here is the headline and first paragraph of the article:
Economists Wary of Falling Energy Prices
WASHINGTON (AP) — It should only be this simple: Oil prices plunge 20 percent, leading businesses and consumers to ramp up their spending, which gives a nice jolt to the economy. That seems to be the conventional wisdom on Wall Street right now, where the pullback in energy prices is being cheered by investors. But some contrarians think that view could be missing the point.
But not all of those quoted are economists, and not all of those quoted are contrarians.
Here is the roster of the quoted (not in the same order as the article):
"If it's necessary to do that because the military situation on the ground requires that, we'll do it," he said. "If we have to call in more forces because it's our military judgment that we need more forces, we'll do it."
Abizaid said that right now the current number of troops "are prudent force levels" that are achieving the needed military effect.
With the gun control movement running for the hills nationwide,
opponents of the Second Amendment have taken comfort in the fact that many of America's largest cities remain solidly in the anti-gun camp. In such places, it's not uncommon
for local government officials to initiate so-called gun buyback
programs where police purchase weapons citizens bring in, no questions
Basically no one who studies firearms policy believes
these initiatives actually work to reduce crime or take guns away from
by the DOJ and even Harvard University have discounted the
effectiveness of buyback programs. Just a few months ago, the liberal
Boston Phoenix alternative newspaper ran an article
that contended they enable criminals to afford newer, more deadly
weapons. Most of the time, the bulk of residents selling their guns are
older, as are their firearms--not exactly the kind of people you'd see
engaging in armed robbery.
All of this information
can be easily found on the internet. Surely the District of Columbia,
which hosted a buyback program over the weekend, was aware of it. One
would hope that at least one person at the Associated Press or the Washington Post
knew that gun buyback programs don't work, or that they'd at least have
the journalistic inclination to look into how effective such
initiatives are. But hard-hitting, thoughtful local reporting isn't
exactly in high supply in America's newspapers today, to say nothing of
research critical of liberal shibboleths.
While the national media begin to revisit the "corruption" issue -- largely as a Republican problem, as you can see from Monday's front page Washington Post story on GOP Sen. Conrad Burns -- it's important to remember where Democrats could have problems. Take appointed Sen. Bob Menendez, who's now the subject of a federal investigation for accepting $3,000-a-month rent from a group he's also sought to enrich with federal funding. NRO blogger Jim Geraghty reported:
So here outside Philly, we're getting New Jersey political ads, too, including one for Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, that features him in a courtroom. Oh, no, wait, it's not what you're thinking - he's not a defendant, he's touting his credentials fighting political corruption, not facilitating it.
Over at The Corner today, National Review's Jonah Goldberg noticed that the AP dispatch on Congressman Ben Cardin's prejudiced/fired blogger leaves out the "D" word for Democrat:
Rep. Benjamin Cardin has fired a campaign staffer who posted racially charged comments against his opponent on the Internet, the congressman's campaign said Saturday.
The staffer's blog includes references to Oreo cookies. Cardin's opponent, Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is black, has said people threw Oreos at him during a 2002 debate as a slight directed at his race and political views.
I wonder how much we'll be hearing of this news in the political press and how much Marylanders will from their MSM:
Rep. Benjamin Cardin has fired a campaign staffer who wrote racially
charged comments on an Internet blog against his opponent, Republican
Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is black, Cardin's campaign confirmed
The blog includes a reference to "Devouring the Competition" by eating
Oreo cookies, which Steele has said people threw at him during a 2002
debate as a slight directed at his race and political views.
In a statement, Cardin also condemned "anti-Semitic" comments written by the female staffer on her own Internet blog [formerly at persuasionatrix.blogspot.com].
One important fact left out of the AP report I quoted above is that the story was broken by our friends over at Wizbang. AP reporter Brian Witte's behavior in this instance is all too familiar. Blogs are often not given the proper credit they deserve for reporting, especially if they're conservative ones.
The Associated Press seems to think that Bush's terror related questions are mere election ploys, solely talking points being cast about to help Congressional Republicans to win elections in the upcoming 2006 midterms.
Bush has been undertaking an intense effort to clear up the issues surrounding both his NSA surveillance questions as well as questions surrounding the legal rights that captured terrorists have and just how the Administration might treat them once in US custody. These are questions that have been brewing since the attacks on 9/11/01 and, with recent Supreme Court decisions, dents have been put in the President's conception of what he can and cannot do causing the president to seek solid answers.
So, was August a good or poor month for retail sales? It depends on who you ask. Despite that the fact that everyone is working from virtually the same data, different reports are reaching totally opposite conclusions.
Here's the beginning of one of several reports with an ominous tone from the Associated Press (negative words in bold):
Retail sales in August posted the weakest showing in two months as worried consumers curbed their spending habits.
The Commerce Department reported that the nation's retailers saw a tiny 0.2 percent increase last month following a much bigger 1.4 percent rise in July. It was the weakest performance since sales had actually fallen by 0.5 percent in June.
Lebanese-born Joseph Shahda has translated a July 25, 2000 Iraqi intelligence document released by the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office. The document refers to "one of our sources" who works for the "American Associated Press Agency."
Republic of Iraq
The Presidency of the Republic
The Intelligence Service
To: 5th / 4th / 13th Directorates
We were informed from one of our sources (the degree of trust in him is good) who works in the American Associated Press Agency that the agency broadcasted to through computer to its branches worldwide the following:
The President of the United States addressed the nation, the media and the world today (well, most of the world - the mainstream networks felt it unnecessary to break from their soaps to carry the speech) from the White House. He spoke for 37 minutes, and addressed the current state of the War On Terror. He talked about the attacks on September 11th. He talked about the terrorists who have been caught, and how the information from them led to the capture of other terrorists. He talked about multiple attacks on the United States that had been thwarted by the capture and interrogation of these terrorists. He spoke about the need to continue to gather information. He spoke about the Supreme Court's Hamdan decision, and the bill that he has sent to Congress to authorize military tribunals. He talked about the transfer to Guantanamo of certain high-profile terrorists, and the treatment that everyone at Guantanamo has received. He talked about trying the men responsible for 9/11, the USS Cole, the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
The victim, an 11-year-old boy whose name was not released because of his age, was struck in the left wrist by a .22 caliber bullet riding the Old No. 2 Logging Co. Log Flume at the park, police said.
[Police spokesman] Winton said it appeared that someone fired the shotgun from outside the theme park and the bullet hit the child as it was falling. Winton said the bullet came from a gun that was fired at an angle.
I am beginning a new, perhaps very temporary, column as a much-needed stress-reliever from my usually ponderous research papers. Lately, I began noticing that the Associated Press is posting many articles with broken or incomplete sentences and poor grammar. After noticing Time Magazine’s April cover entitled “Drop-Out Nation,” regarding the 30% national high school dropout rate, I wondered what happened to all those undereducated victims of our socialist education system. Did they all get hired by AP? So I decided to begin posting their bloopers a la Eats Shoots & Leaves. (Please feel free to join in with your own explanation of what AP meant to say.)
At a recent journalists convention in Israel, the assembled representatives of the world's elite media realized that press's coverage of the recent war in Lebanon has been flawed. And that it was Israel's fault. See NRO's Media blog for details, then read the rest of this article (h/t LGF):
In short, much of the most incendiary
media coverage of this war seems to have been either staged or
fabricated. The big question is why the western media would perpetrate
such institutionalised mendacity. Many ancillary reasons come to mind.
There is the reliance upon corrupted news and picture agencies which
employ Arab propagandists as stringers and cameramen. There is the herd
mentality of the media which decides collectively what the story is.
There is the journalists’ fear for their personal safety if they report
the truth about terrorist outfits. There is the difficulty of
discovering the truth from undemocratic regimes and terrorist
organisations. There is the language barrier; there is professional
laziness; there is the naïve inability to acknowledge the depths of
human evil and depravity; there is the moral inversion of the left
which believes that western truth-tellers automatically tell lies,
while third world liars automatically tell the truth.
But the big answer is that the western media transmit the lies of
Hezbollah because they want to believe them. And that’s because the Big
Lie these media tell — and have themselves been told — about Israel and
its place in history and in the world today has achieved the status of
unchallengeable truth. The plain fact is that western journalists were
sent to cover the war being waged against Israel from Lebanon as a war
being waged by Israel against Lebanon. And that’s because that’s how
editors think of the Middle East: that the whole ghastly mess is driven
by Israel’s actions, and that therefore it is only Israel’s aggression
which is the story to be covered.
In a story headlined "Fascism is new buzz word among GOP," AP political writer Tom Raum demonstrates he's a little behind the linguistic curve. "President Bush in recent days has recast the global war on terror into a 'war against Islamic fascism.' Fascism, in fact, seems to be the new buzz word for Republicans in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq." While it's true that the lingo has gained currency at the White House, it's positively antique in the wider conservative and Republican world.
Clearly, what Raum is trying to say is: okay, the word's not new, but its embrace by the White House is displaying a new political tactic designed to juice up the national-security issue before the elections. After all, by paragraph seven, Raum is admitting his first paragraph isn't quite right: "Conservative commentators have long talked about 'Islamo-fascism, and Bush's phrase was a slightly toned-down variation on that theme." I'd guess his goal for the article is demonstrated by academic Stephen Wayne:
Former veep Al Gore continues to get slavishly great press (the kind
a Republican could only get by switching parties à la Jim Jeffords),
for a speech he gave in Scotland claiming that "democracy is under
attack" from media consolidation. I'm doubtful that he mentioned
similar dangers from ultrarich leftists like George Soros trying to buy
their own governments in various countries.
The first few grafs from AP reporter Jill Lawless are relatively straightforward (minus the fact that she did not ask other media thinkers to counter Gore):
is under attack," Gore told an audience at the Edinburgh International
Television Festival. "Democracy as a system for self-governance is
facing more serious challenges now than it has faced for a long time.
is a conversation, and the most important role of the media is to
facilitate that conversation of democracy. Now the conversation is more
controlled, it is more centralized."