Blogs

By Tom Blumer | January 12, 2015 | 3:19 PM EST

On Saturday, in a post titled "Political Correctness Kills in Paris, Terrifies Media," Jeffrey Lord at NewsBusters cited how the New York Times, in covering the Charlie Hebdo massacre, deliberately changed a story subject's quote from what it originally reported.

This post will show how the message massagers at the Times subsequently went another step further, attempting to convince readers that the subject's statement quoted elsewhere isn't what she said.

By Tom Blumer | January 11, 2015 | 10:02 AM EST

The ability of tiny numbers of far-left fringe group demonstrators to get undue press attention virtually any time they want continues to be intensely annoying.

In mid-2007, Barack Obama made closing the prison at Guantanmo Bay a core promise of his 2008 campaign. That was 7-1/2 years ago. Obama has been in office six years. Gitmo is still open. So naturally, the aggrieved professional protesters at Code Pink organized a demonstration against Gitmo remaining active on yesterday's 13th anniversary of the prison's opening — at former Vice President Dick Cheney's house. They got far more ink and bandwidth than they deserved from the press, including Reuters — i.e., far more than nothing.

By Tom Blumer | January 9, 2015 | 12:16 AM EST

At Business Week, reporter James G. Neuger was really upset on Thursday that concerned politicians were raising the issue of protecting the public against radical Islamists in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Of course, he couldn't resist chalking it up to bigotry — against "immigrants -- especially those with veils, turbans and non-white skin." Excerpts follow the jump.

By Tom Blumer | January 8, 2015 | 10:18 AM EST

At around 6 p.m. Wednesday, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof was still wondering: "Is Islam to Blame for the Shooting at Charlie Hebdo in Paris?" ("Shooting?" Singular?) Maybe he still is.

This was many hours after it was known that the perpetrators shouted "We avenged the Prophet Muhammad!" and "Allah Akbar!" after completing the Charlie Hebdo massacre of 12 in Paris, and after ISIS celebrated the "blessed operation." Excerpts from Kristof's column, published in Thursday's print edition, follow the jump.

By Tom Blumer | January 7, 2015 | 9:28 PM EST

In an item time-stamped 4:11 p.m. ET at his "On Media" blog at the Politico, Dylan Byers wrapped up a post primarily about the Associated Press removing its "Piss Christ" photo from its image library by claiming, in reference to the Charlie Hebdo Magazine murders in Paris, that "Though there (sic) identity is as yet unknown, the masked gunmen are believed to be Islamic terrorists."

Here's most of Byers' post about the outrageous hypocrisy at AP, which shortly affter the massacre had publicly announced that it would not show any Charlie Hebdo Islamic cartoon images:

By Tom Blumer | January 7, 2015 | 6:14 PM EST

This afternoon, Matt Balan at NewsBusters covered Tony Barber's disgraceful evening (London Time) column at the Financial Times. In the wake of the terrorist attack at the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo which killed 12, Barber argued that "some common sense would be useful at publications such as Charlie Hebdo, and Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten." In other words, after sifting out the myriad paragraphs of weasel words and historical rehashes, Barber was contending that these outlets should self-censor to protect jihadists' delicate sensibilities.

Balan indicated that Barber is an associate editor at the Times, so readers could very well have interpreted the columnist's take as speaking for the newspaper. That is not so, as seen in its house editorial:

By Tom Blumer | January 6, 2015 | 10:23 PM EST

Let's imagine a white Congressman saying that when he served in Vietnam, he was never moved at the sight of a dead U.S. soldier unless he was white. His career would be over, and deservedly so, within about five minutes of his statement. If he was a conservative or a Republican, even if he resigned instantly and was roundly and unanimously condemned by his colleagues, the press would remind us of that racist statement for years on end.

Now switch races and change the war to Korea. Otherwise, 23-term New York Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel just did the same thing, and you can almost make book that the establishment press will ignore it:

By Tom Blumer | January 4, 2015 | 11:59 PM EST

In the final three paragraphs of a "Year in Review" item at the Los Angeles Times on December 31 (HT Patterico), reporter Matt Pearce joined the long list of journalists who have failed to properly characterize the evidence in Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri in August.

You had to know that distortions were coming based on the rest of the article content which preceded it. The most obvious giveaway was Pearce's description of Eric Garner's death on Staten Island. He wrote that Garner "died after an altercation with police; the officer accused of putting him in an unauthorized chokehold was not indicted." The officer involved was "accused" of the act, but he didn't commit it. In August, former NYPD detective Bo Deitl indicated that "it was a headlock, not a chokehold," and that the non-choking action was not the cause of Garner's death. Well, if Pearce couldn't get Garner right, it was a near certainty that he'd seriously botch his description of the Brown situation, which he proceeded to do (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | January 4, 2015 | 1:36 PM EST

In the interest of getting all supposedly relevant information out there for the public to see, the New York Times amassed an extraordinary array of journalistic resources — three reporters, three who "contributed reporting," and two others who "contributed research" — to what they must have thought was an important, underappreciated element of the saga which ended with the brutal ambush murders of NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in December.

The three reporters — Kim Barker, Mosi Secret and Richard Fausset — composed roughly 2,500 words as a result of that eight-person effort. Their resulting work was posted online on Friday and appeared on the front page of the paper's January 3 New York Region and National print editions (above the fold, top right). Their mission was to sympathetically portray cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley, which was bad enough. But their ultimate objective, which I'm sure was achieved in the minds of many fever-swamp liberals (example here), was to convince readers that the link between Al Sharpton and his "we want dead cops" crowd and Brinsley's motivations was not all that direct, i.e., that "Brinsley’s short life and violent end is probably less political and more accidental than initially portrayed." The rest of us will find their attempt troubling, but utterly unpersuasive in that regard.

By Tom Blumer | January 3, 2015 | 10:48 AM EST

Christopher Hedges has been gone from the New York Times for almost ten years. He has since admitted to being a socialist, been exposed as a serial plagiarist in work he has done since leaving the Times in 2005, and authored "the first issue of the Occupied Wall Street Journal, a newspaper associated with the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park."

Hedges is the subject of this post because, even aside from the plagiarism, he has called into permanent question the quality, accuracy and objectivity of his entire 15-year body of work as a foreign correspondent for the Times. At an obscure web site called Truthdig on December 15, Hedges called ISIS "the new Israel".

By Tom Blumer | January 3, 2015 | 12:13 AM EST

In the midst of properly blasting the New York Times for its disgraceful editorial attacking the NYPD, Fox Business News's Davd Asman has raised an important question which goes to the paper's fundamental integrity. Specifically, did the Times acquiesce to active efforts by Mayor Bill de Blasio's office encouraging them to go on the attack, effectively serving as his mouthpiece?

The question also occurred to me several days ago as I read DNAinfo.com's accounting of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's heavyhanded attempts to get local and even state Democratic politicians to condemn the police department. Excerpts from Asman's Friday column containing that question follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | January 2, 2015 | 7:29 AM EST

Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, who died on Thursday, is predictably being lionized today by USA Today's Aamer Madhani "as (a) giant in political rhetoric," and by others elsewhere in similarly glowing terms.

Madhani goes on to characterize the three-term Empire State chief executive's 1984 Democratic Convention speech in San Francisco as "what is widely considered one of the finest pieces of political rhetoric in recent memory." That it probably was. But he also calls it "a full-throated rebuttal of President Ronald Reagan, who would go on to a landslide victory over the Democratic nominee Walter Mondale." On that, Madhani is absolutely wrong. It was an attempt at a rebuttal which has since been thoroughly refuted and discredited.