The indicted former Newark Mayor and current NJ state Senator Sharpe James sure is mysterious. According to the New York Times, WNBC and via the AP, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, Philadelphia Inquirer and the UK's Guardian, among others, James seemingly does not belong to a political party. Maybe he belongs to the same non-party as Rep. William Jefferson who was indicted on corruption and bribery charges earlier this year (hat tip to a NewsBusters reader):
Strangely, after a little digging, I discovered that James is a Democrat and that according to the prosecution, some of his alleged expenses included costly trips to Jamaica, Rio de Janeiro and Puerto Rico on the taxpayer's dime, as well as letting a girlfriend buy city property at bargain-basement prices.
Remember the old commercial for aspirin where actor Robert Young, portrayer of '70s TV icon Dr. Marcus Welby, would wear a white lab coat and say, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV..."? The same mentality is at work with actor Rob Lowe, who testified yesterday before Congress for tax credits for people who add a plug-in feature to their hybrid cars. Ann Senner, writing for the AP, seems to take his credibility seriously:
Actor Rob Lowe, who portrays a member of Congress on television, appeared before lawmakers Thursday and promoted tax credits for people who add a plug-in feature to hybrid cars and trucks.
But a Florida Republican state legislator is only arrested for solicitation of oral sex from an undercover male police officer, and his party affiliation is rendered in the second paragraph of the AP story.
That doesn't seem to square with the AP Stylebook, which says party affiliation mention should be tested by relevance to the story and that in some stories "[p]arty affiliation is pointless."
We've seen the phenomena of the media forgetting to identify political parties when a Democrat is portrayed negatively and at times, when a Republican is portrayed positively, as during Rep. William Jefferson's (D-LA) corruption and bribery scandal. Conversely, an AP article about Sen. David Vitter's (R-LA) link to the “D.C. Madam” included his party in the first four words.
Since everyone doesn't read every article, it's important to pack the major facts into the initial paragraphs. The first several paragraphs offered many perfect spots to disclose Black's party, but they were not used. Also, the seriousness and details of the charges were minimized by vague descriptions. Between the vagueness of the charges and the lack of identification, the reader is left with questions (emphasis mine throughout):
Jimmy Carter is writing another book. Already, you ask? Well, this one is a little different than some of his others. Due out this fall, it's a memoir about his mother, "Miss Lillian" Carter, the woman whom Carter says was his "inspiration" to "commitment and faith."
The topic of this new book doesn't interest me so much as how the short AP article by Hillel Italie describes Carter's career as an author in the final paragraph:
Jimmy Carter, 82, has been a prolific author since leaving the White House, in 1981. His many best sellers include "An Hour Before Daylight," "Our Endangered Values" and "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which angered supporters of Israel and led 14 members of an advisory board to the Atlanta-based Carter Center to resign in protest.
I received an e-mail tip from a member of the news media who enjoys our work, pointing out some shenanigans at the Associated Press. The matter at hand was President Bush answering a question about Plamegate at today's White House news conference.
Here's an excerpt of his e-mail (emphasis mine):
If you haven't already, check out the AP Stories on the President's
press conference this morning (7/12). The item: BC-Bush 4th Lead by
Headline: Bush acknowledges administration leaked CIA operative's name.
However... quote in paragraph 6 contradicts headline: "I'm aware of the fact that PERHAPS somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person.
The AP, taking their cue from the new because-she-said-so story offered by the L.A.Times, has run with a short clip on a story that claims Fred Thompson was working as a lobbyist for an abortion agency in 1991, giving the hearsay evidence against him but not offering the meat of his against the claim. The result is that the AP offers more "evidence" against Thompson than it does for him making it too easy to conclude he is "guilty" of the charge of lobbying for an abortion advocacy organization.
The AP did a wonderful job making this story seem more cut and dried than it really is, of course, but the fact is, this claim of Thompson's supposed lobbying for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association is nothing but an unproven (and maybe unprovable) claim against Thompson made by people who are well-known, far left activists and heavy contributors to the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. Naturally, neither the AP nor the L.A.Times wastes any time to detail the history of those making these claims against Thompson, leaving their relevant backgrounds completely out of the story.
Gee... why do you think they'd forget to let readers know that this story is based solely of the good word of Hillary supporters?
Wow...Enrique Iglesias is the first Western pop singer to perform in Syria in over 30 years. Notwithstanding the obvious danger Igliesias faced by traveling to the region, this article (written by the AP's Samar Kassabli) is laugh-worthy in that it sidesteps reasons why Western entertainers might be avoiding it:
Although Syria is rich with culture, historic and tourist sites, Western celebrities have largely stayed away from the autocratic country for years.
However, Syria has been taking small steps to open up the Socialist-style economy and allow greater opportunities and access to information for young people
The AP's David Rising discusses the diverse backgrounds of the British bombers:
The eight people held Tuesday in the failed car bombing plot include one doctor from Iraq and two from India. There is a physician from Lebanon and a Jordanian doctor and his medical assistant wife. Another doctor and a medical student are thought to be from the Middle East.
Gee, what else might they have had in common? Anyone? Don't want to spoil the suspense, but we find out in paragraph 8, sort of. By implication:
I keep seeing this talking point phrase in multiple MSM stories about the Libby conviction; "Libby was convicted in March, the highest-ranking White House official ordered to prison since the Iran-Contra affair roiled the Reagan administration in the 1980s."(emphasis, mine) This is a misleading statement that makes the reader imagine that no high-ranking Presidential appointee, adviser, or member of the White House has been convicted of anything or sentenced to anything since Reagan's era. But, at least one past official's name should be placed above that of Libby's. Henry Cisneros was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, appointed to that position by President Bill Clinton. Cisneros, it should be remembered, was indicted in 1995 on 18 counts of conspiracy, false statements and obstruction of justice. Cisneros pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of lying to the FBI. Now, I'd dare say that Libby, who only worked in the office of the Vice President, was a minnow in the pond in which Cisneros swam. Cisneros was the Secretary of HUD, a presidential cabinet member, after all!
Naturally, on his way out of the White House in 2001, Clinton pardoned Cisneros.
Remember when you were a kid and got caught telling a lie, but your excuse was that a pal "made you do it" and it was so hard to tell the truth anyway because of this reason or that? It didn't matter to your parents then, did it? Well, here we have Reuters revealing that they fell for a false story about 20 beheaded Iraqis that was planted by insurgents, but do they just admit it and take responsibility? No, they whine that it is "very hard" to get stories in Iraq because it is so dangerous for journalists there.
I can tell we are all rolling our eyes, aren't we?
On the 28th Reuters and the AP along with most major news sources recklessly reported that 20 beheaded bodies were found by "Iraqi Policemen" on the banks of the Tigris River near Salman Pak, 19 miles south of Baghdad.
I say recklessly because not one of these supposed professional news sources substantiated the story but merely accepted the "news" as fact with no corroboration. This is something we have seen dozens of times since we entered Iraq with these news services explaining away this breach of professional standards by saying that it is just too dangerous for journalists to be in those areas to do the leg work to make sure their stories are true before they publish them.
The chinks in the armor that is a supposed scientific consensus regarding man’s role in global warming continued to grow this week when it was identified that many of the folks involved in the most recent report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were not in agreement with the study’s findings.
Didn't hear about this? Well, how could you? Nobody reported it!
In fact, what you also didn't hear or read due to the media's universal eschewing of this information was that many of the views expressed in the IPCC’s report go quite contrary to assertions regularly being made by the very press outlets not covering this new revelation and the Global Warmingist-in-Chief, soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore.
Think maybe that's why it's not being reported?
Regardless of the answer, the Heartland Institute, a non-profit social and economic think tank, issued the following press release concerning this matter Friday (emphasis added throughout):
One doesn't have to look very far to see opinionated assertions in the supposedly objective Old Media coverage of yesterday's immigration-bill failure in the Senate.
Here's part of what an unbylined AP report said almost immediately after it was clear that the bill would not get the 60 votes needed for cloture: "The carefully crafted compromise was left for dead after a similar vote three weeks ago but was revived by Bush and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who gave opponents more chances to change it."
To say that there is disagreement over whether the bill was "carefully crafted" is quite an understatement.
A report in the Seattle Times "compiled from The Washington Post, Gannett News Service, The Associated Press and McClatchy Newspapers" made this claim about yesterday's vote: "In a mark of lawmakers' ambivalence, however, the outcome was substantially different from a test vote Tuesday, when a 64-35 vote revived the bill."
Was it lawmaker "ambivalence," or constituent persuasiveness? And how do they know?
But the biggest error, as often is the case, was one of omission. Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts lit into opponents on the Senate floor yesterday with this over-the-top riff (video is at Hot Air; bold is mine):
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."
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.
As Democrats complain about conservative dominance on the radio, the hypocrisy is made crystal clear when America's leading wire service copies talking points directly from one of Howard Dean’s e-mail messages for a hit piece on looming Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson.
Such was identified by Steve Hill of Target Rich Environment who brilliantly outlined the similarities between an e-mail message he received Friday from the Democratic National Committee chairman (complete text with timestamp and e-mail address to follow) with an Associated Press article published Tuesday at CNN.com (emphasis added throughout):
Kudos to Associated Press (via Yahoo!) for noting the death toll (and the toll in chaos) of the Maoist Shining Path/Sendero Luminoso terrorists in Peru in a story on how another of Hollywood's leftist political dilettantes thinks she's in solidarity with the masses, when she's in solidarity with a slaughterer of the masses:
Actress Cameron Diaz appears to have committed a major fashion faux pas in Peru. The voice of Princess Fiona in the animated "Shrek" films may have inadvertently offended Peruvians who suffered decades of violence from a Maoist guerrilla insurgency by touring here Friday with a bag emblazoned with one of Mao Zedong's favorite political slogans.
Wyoming's governor (Democrat Dave Freudenthal) just announced the successor to the late Republican Senator Craig Thomas. This AP story, which appears on numerous news outlet websites, highlights John Barrasso's many conservative qualities. It's entitled "Conservative Wyo. Surgeon Named Senator":
Barrasso, 54, will serve in Thomas' place until the beginning of 2009. He said on his application that he also intends to then run in a November 2008 special election to serve out the remainder of Thomas' term, which ends in 2013.
Barrasso also left no doubt that he will be a conservative voice in Washington.
"I believe in limited government, lower taxes, less spending, traditional family values, local control and a strong national defense," the orthopedic surgeon and state senator from Casper wrote in his application.
He said he has "voted for prayer in schools, against gay marriage and have sponsored legislation to protect the sanctity of life."
When it was announced Tuesday that China surpassed the United States as the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide, NewsBusters asked, “Will Media Notice?”
In reality, the answer is a mixed windbag, with most press outlets totally ignoring the revelation, and a few actually blaming the problem on – wait for it! – the United States. I kid you not.
However, before we address that stupidity, it first must be relayed that not one of the television news outlets bothered reporting the Chinese CO2 data at all. It appears that television news divisions only feel CO2 is a problem if it’s emitted by American corporations or citizens.
As for the print media, the few that did cover this story either gave it very little attention, or made some fairly predictable excuses for why it’s okay as the planet nears its seemingly inevitable doom at the hands of greenhouse gases for China to be the leading “polluter.”
For instance, the New York Times devoted a total of 83 words to this story in its “World Briefing Asia” section Thursday on page A12 (no link available):
An article by Ryan Lenz of the Associated Press reported on the shooting of two sheriff’s deputies in Georgetown, Indiana by a teenager, who subsequently killed himself. The article, entitled "Officials: Teen used WWII-era rifle," identified the weapon used in the shooting as a "sniper rifle" in its lead sentence. Two paragraphs later, the weapon was specifically-identified as M-1 Garand. [pictured at right, photo via MemorablePlaces.com]
Anyone who has seen "Saving Private Ryan" or the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" has seen the M-1 Garand, the standard service weapon in World War II for the American military. It was the first semi-automatic rifle to be issued in mass quantities to infantry forces. It was used with great effect during the war, and General George Patton called it "the greatest implement of battle ever devised." Since it was a standard weapon, it was generally not used in the sniper role for most of the war. Two versions of the rifle for snipers, the M-1C and M-1D were issued in small quantities in the last year of the war, which had the telescopic sight needed for snipers.
"An Eco-System Runs Through It" trumpets the June 19 front page headline in the San Antonio Express-News. The Anastasia Ustinova story manages to combine two liberal positions together in the guise of protecting the environment, as the sub-head tells readers that "Fencing threatens critters - and eco system."
The story goes on to note that the fence "would cut large swaths through sensitive habitat and harm rare or threatened species." The story reads like liberal environmental literature and even has time to push a non-green liberal cause: preventing border fencing.
Yet once again the left gets confused about the difference of opinion and actual balanced news.
AP's David Bauder interviewed disgraced Bush-hating ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather, and includes this fun fact about his current HDNet digs: "Two former CBS News producers run the 'Dan Rather Reports' staff with their boss. Their office a few steps away from Times Square -- Rather critics will love this -- is located in the Bush Building."
At Human Events, Chris Plante has a funny take on CBS's answers to Dan Rather's attack on soft-soap Katie Couric and the supposed sexism that's causing her low ratings:
Maybe if Katie delivered the news in a white, embroidered apron from a studio decorated like a 1950’s kitchen we’d all tune in. She could open the broadcast with a nicely browned turkey on a platter, placing it gingerly on a French country table with lace doilies and then spend 30 minutes lying to us. The CBS Evening News with Barbara Billingsley.
On may 29th, the AP reported that Vice President Dick Cheney told the Secret Service to eliminate the records of visitors to the Vice President's mansion on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington D.C. fitting with the MSM's claims that the VP is "too secretive." Cheney’s office countered with the fact that he had written orders to save those records. Naturally the New York Times jumped on the bandwagon with a June 3rd piece that went wild-eyed and frothing, veering straight for the "Haliburton" canard that the left has tried to hang on Cheney since his first days in office instead of staying on the topic of the visitor records.
From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Cheney received "deferred salary payments" from Halliburton that far exceeded what taxpayers gave him. Mr. Cheney still holds hundreds of thousands of stock options that have ballooned by millions of dollars as Halliburton profited handsomely from the war in Iraq.
As they are wont to do, the Times again tried to link Cheney with Haliburton payouts despite the fact that the VP has not benefited from any such income since being elected to office.
At this point, the answer to the latter is a resounding “No.” The answer to the former is “Not much.”
To be more specific, extensive searches of Google News and LexisNexis have identified that no major American media outlet with the exception of the New York Daily News bothered to report the theft of Yasser Arafat’s Noble Peace Prize:
In a rather soft boiled story on West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd's dotage and his uselessness as an able bodied member of the Senate, at 89 he's currently the longest serving Senator in American history, the AP did the right thing in reminding the readers that Byrd was once a member of the Klan. Yet, they had to go and ruin the truth by claiming that Klan members are "certainly conservative."
In fact, this AP story amazingly tries to make it seem as if Byrd had only late in life become that member of Congress that has been "endeared" to "many liberals", hinting that it only just dawned on him after 53 years in the Senate to become a liberal. The AP imagines that Byrd somehow "remade" himself into a liberal over the Bush administration's Iraq policy, as if he never was one before that.