National Public Radio correspondent Nina Totenberg severely misquoted a conservative legal scholar to make it seems as if he considered Clarence Thomas a radical Supreme Court justice. An examination of his full statement clearly demonstrates that this was not what he actually said.
In an April 16 NPR segment, Totenberg, picture right in a file photo, sought to paint radical Berkeley law professor, and Obama nominee to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, as the left's equivalent to Justice Thomas. She quoted Curt Levey, executive director of the conservative Committee for Justice as saying "Goodwin Liu is not your typical liberal. He’s very far out on the left wing, even in academia. So I think you could think of Liu as the Democratic Clarence Thomas." (Audio embedded below the fold.)
But the spliced audio in Totenberg's segment actually mis-represented what Levey said. He was not comparing Liu's and Thomas's stances on constitutional law. Here is his full statement, according to Big Journalism's Matthew Vadum (italicized portions quoted by Totenberg):
Last month I noted Newsweek's Liz White's complaint about the term "ObamaCare" being used as shorthand for the Democratic health care legislation. White griped that the term was "ominous-sounding" and favored by the legislation's conservative opponents as reasons why mainstream media outlets should eschew the term.
Now a full 27 days later, White is back at it with her complaint about the term "ObamaCare." This time, she's citing none other than liberal Comedy Central "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart to back her up:
Stewart immediately jumps on O’Hara’s slip, calling him out on using the “derogatory” phrase and firing back by referring to O’Hara’s book as a “tea-bagger book.” O’Hara stammers for a few seconds and tries to defend his word choice, but concedes to calling it the health-reform bill instead. (It’s a law, by the way.)
Last month, I took on this same issue. Should the bill be called Obamacare, or is that phrase, as Stewart puts it, derogatory by nature?
In her April 26 piece, the Newsweek staff writer cranks up the melodrama volume knob to 11, lamenting that Democrats are not the reliable vehicle for the pro-abortion lobby that they were 30 years ago (emphasis mine):
Update - 12:48 PM | Lachlan Markay:David Brooks weighs in. See his thoughts below.
One of the gripes about online journalism often aired by the Helen Thomases and the Chuck Todds of the world is that online news consumers will only consume news that reinforces their worldview or political beliefs. A new scholarly study challenges that assumption.
The study, conducted by Matthew Gentzkow and Jesse Shapiro, both of the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that there is "no evidence that the Internet is becoming more segregated over time." In other words, contrary to Old Media's accusations, the Internet is not an overwhelmingly polarizing force.
The study found that the Internet exposes people to ideas that they do not normally encounter in face-to-face interactions during their daily lives. Though this should come as little surprise -- with the wealth of information the web provides, how could it not regularly challenge worldviews and preconceptions? -- it is perhaps worth reminding the skeptics.
Here's the thing about the vast right-wing conspiracy: it doesn't really exist. The left's latest attempt to invoke the notion has ended in rebuttals from commentators on both sides of the political spectrum.
Conservative blogger Ben Domenech noted the White House's apparent desire to appoint a homosexual to the Supreme Court. He noted in a post at the New Ledger that at least three nominees -- Pam Karlan, Kathleen Sullivan, and Elana Kagan -- are gay. The White House vehemently denied the latter. The left was not happy.
Huffington Post contributor Sam Stein quoted a spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, who alleged a "shameless … whisper campaign" started by the "far right," echoing other groups' statments to the same effect.
But there is no evidence of any such campaign. Indeed, the extent of the evidence offered by Human Rights Campaign and other left-wing groups seems to be that propagating rumors regarding sexual orientation is "straight out of the right-wing playbook."
Over at the Daily Kos, the gay activist that writes under the byline "Bill in Portland, Maine" (I'd prefer Boogers of Change) slammed both the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts in his regular "Cheers and Jeers" column on Thursday:
CHEERS to justice served. Let us not forget that the Catholic Church isn't the only institution owned and operated by ultra-conservatives that's getting battered with pervert accusations. There's also the Boy Scouts of America, which a jury just tied up in knots:
What is the religious right doing by campaigning against abortion? First and foremost, its efforts seem aimed at trying to keep church pews filled by bringing more and more poor people into the world. Second, it will just end up boosting the teen unwed pregnancy rate every time it guilt trips an unwed, pregnant teen into bringing to term a child she does not want and cannot afford to raise. Third, it will effectively subjugate women and girls in the same way women and girls in developing nations are consigned to a life of child-bearing and little else.
Another day another anti-religion piece from Huffington Post Religion. On April 14 columnist Derek Beres wrote “Why Arresting the Pope is a Great Idea.” Not only that, but Beres actually compared Pope Benedict to director Roman Polanski, who raped a young girl. He also, of course, couldn’t resist ranting against the Church’s teachings on priests remaining celibate.
Atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have called for Pope Benedict’s arrest when he travels to Britain. Beres labeled this idea as “common sense.”
“If Roman Polanski can be arrested on sexual abuse charges after 32 years of hiding,” Beres wrote, “so can the Pope, holy or not.”
Combining bleeding heart bluster with soak-the-rich envy, Newsweek's Ben Adler savaged liberal billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an April 14 The Gaggle blog post for his green-lighting city homeless shelters to levy a monthly rent on residents who hold down jobs:
Don't complain about your taxes today, they are surely less than the 44 percent of one's income that homeless New Yorkers are about to start paying.
New York City, whose mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is worth an estimated $17.5 billion, has announced that it is going to charge homeless people for staying in city housing shelters.
Adler went on to briefly cite the New York Daily News before snarking that "[a]nyone who has spent a minute in a homeless shelter knows better than to buy the preposterous idea that people who could afford an apartment would rather stay there."
Of course that's an unfair assessment of the argument for charging rent of homeless shelter residents who have jobs. From the Daily News article Adler himself cited (emphasis mine):
Actor Ben Stiller is known for playing the funny man in many of his movies, but his recent movie leaves little to laugh about. Stiller stars in the movie “Greenberg” with Greta Gerwig, whose character gets an abortion after discovering she has an unwanted pregnancy. The problem with the film, however, is that the abortion is portrayed as no big deal.
On April 12, Daily Beast’s Stephen Farber approvingly wrote, “When she learns that she is pregnant as a result of a relationship that ended more than a month earlier, she decides to go to the hospital for an abortion, and she returns home without experiencing much pain or guilt.”
The skewed portrayal of Gerwig’s character is far from the truth. According to the National Right to Life, women who get abortions suffer from depression, hemorrhages, sterility, infections, and even death. Suicides can also occur afterwards.
In her April 13 Swampland blog post, "Bashing the Airlines -- Always a Safe Political Bet," Time's Kate Pickert pointed out the illogical and populist silliness of a new bill before Congress aimed at punishing airliners that would charge passengers for carry-on bags (emphasis mine):
With family on the West Coast, I fly a lot and can attest that there is something to carry on about regarding carry ons. To ensure you'll find a place to put your bag once on board, you now have to stalk the gate – standing closer and closer to the ticket taker waiting for your “zone” to be called. Board the plane even slightly late and there's a good chance the overhead compartments will already be stuffed by the time you arrive on board with your bulging “small” suitcase.
Spirit Airlines is the first carrier to react, recently announcing they will charge passengers for carry on bags. Blasphemy! Cue the politics.
No one has ever accused Alec Baldwin of being a rocket scientist, but apparently the actor fancies himself a nuclear physicist. At least that’s the logical conclusion to draw based on his post over at HuffPo entitled “The Human Cost of Nuclear Power.” The actor assumes his new role with gusto, metaphorically donning a lab coat to explain what he believes are the inherent dangers of nuclear power, but his bizarre conclusions and the outdated, discredited research he cites suggests that a straightjacket would be his better fashion choice.
Let’s start with a question that illustrates just how far the limb that Baldwin is precariously balancing upon extends: what kind of power plant emits the most radiation? The correct answer isn’t the obvious answer. According to the Department of Energy, coal fired power plants emit about one hundred times more radiation, per unit of energy produced, than nuclear plants, chiefly because coal naturally contains trace amounts of radioactive compounds and, unlike nukes, they’re not designed with radioactive shields. Before anyone living near a coal fired power plant runs screaming for the door, I should hasten to add this is still an incredibly tiny amount of radiation, about 1/10,000th of all the radiation that an average person is exposed to each year. Natural sources, by far, make the biggest radioactive contributions to our lives. Nothing else is even close.
The media simply cannot stop smearing the Catholic Church, especially Pope Benedict, over the alleged cases of sexual abuse. Huffington Post columnist Andy Ostroy was no exception in his April 7 article, “Can We Fire the Pope?” Ostroy blasted the Pope and called the church “diseased.”
Ostroy seemed to base most of his column on New York Times articles. One article reported that as Archbishop, Pope Benedict transferred a priest accused of sexual abuse. Another New York Times article also blamed the Pope for allowing a Wisconsin priest accused of sexual abuse to stay. Although this report is now in question, that didn’t seem to matter to Ostroy.
Even though the Pope hasn’t been proven guilty, Ostroy didn’t seem to understand that. “Perhaps most infuriating is how Church officials have vociferously defended the Pope, who they claim has been a harsh and outspoken critic of the ‘filth’ that infests the Church, citing him as an architect and promoter of reform.”
Wondering how much faith the left has in your ability to run your own life? Chris Matthews was brutally honest today when he criticized that "idealistic notion" of self-reliance that ignorant conservatives insist on pushing.
Matthews apparently believes that without massive social welfare programs like Medicare and Social Security, there would be "poor people all over the place, old people lying in the streets," and the nation would look like "Calcutta."
He made these absurd claims -- and they are absurd -- on yesterday's Hardball, and went on to call for a more robust "social state," complaining that lefty bloggers had not done enough to make it seem more desirable to the American people (h/t GatewayPundit).
The former Chairman of the California Democratic Party was for some reason treated as a journalist during yesterday's White House press briefing, and used the opportunity to smear a prominent conservative blogger.
Bill Press, who chaired the California Democratic Party for a few years in the 1990s, and who now hosts a radio talk show, demonstrated his total lack of serious journalistic credibility at yesterday's briefing.
He misquoted RedState's Erick Erickson to make it seem as if he was encouraging the listeners of his radio show to not fill out the Census, and tried to turn Erickson's statement into an attack on CNN, who recently hired Erickson as a political correspondent.
President Obama is staking out "middle ground" on the new Nuclear Posture Review, Newsweek's Liz White insists in a 3-paragraph-long April 6 The Gaggle blog post.
White concludes so because Obama is getting flak from allies on his left and critics on his right.
While it's true that in that sense, Obama is in the middle of criticism from both sides, in a broader historical sense, Obama is forsaking a post-Cold War bipartisan consensus on nuclear policy, hardly a "middle of the road" policy that tinkers around the edges.
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Keith Payne explains the "Disarmament Danger" in the April 22 print edition of National Review (emphases mine):
Pop quiz: which of the following political candidates would you be less likely to vote for: one who had written things offensive to many women in a master's thesis, or one who was convicted of trying to solicit sex from a minor?
If you think the felony conviction is a more condemnable offense for a political candidate, you may want to give up your dream job as a Huffington Post columnist. In the bizarre world of Arianna Huffington, the master's thesis is apparently the more reprehensible offense.
HuffPo columnists relentlessly attacked now-Va. Governor Bob McDonnell for his "frightening" views on marriage and the family as expressed in his 1989 thesis. But lefty blogger Tim Russo, who is running for office in Cleveland, is just the victim of local media that "want him to pay for [his felony conviction] for the rest of his life," presumably by suggesting that soliciting sex from a minor demonstrates a lack of judgment unbecoming a public servant.
There is hardly a more fitting figure to trumpet Old Media's fear of Internet-powered citizen journalism than Helen Thomas. The 89-year-old reporter has covered every president since Jack Kennedy. But when it comes to the inevitable decline of her brand of journalism, her fears are unfounded and misplaced.
"Helen Thomas," reported Lloyd Grove for the Daily Beast, "is worried that all the downsizing at media outlets will result in less-reliable coverage of the president." Thomas went on to lament the rise of new media as a viable alternative to traditional journalism.
With all due respect to Thomas and her distinguished career as a reporter, it is not at all clear that someone with views as liberal as hers -- placing her as they do well outside the mainstream of American political opinion -- is at all preferable an intermediary to a pajama-clad blogger or iPhone photographer.
In the article, McLaren went out of his way to insult evangelicals. He first compared them to the infamous Milgram experiment at Yale University, in which authoritarian figures instructed people to administer supposedly dangerous high levels of electricity to other people, who turned out to be actors.
McLaren explained how, “In my opinion, multitudes of Christians find themselves in a real-life Milgram experiment these days. Their consciences are in conflict with their beloved religious authority figures on several key issues … ”
An April Fools prank designed to trick bloggers into running with a contrived story ended up snaring the Gray Lady.
New York attorney Eric Terkewitz told his blog's readers on April 1 that he had been hired as the White House's "official law blogger." Unlike the political bloggers at which the stunt was aimed, the New York Times apparently did not check the claim, and posted the story to its website.
The incident serves as a reminder that, as journos like to say, "if your mother says she loves you, check it out."
Facts, apparently, will not interfere with the left's quest to slander Sean Hannity. What's worse, many of the mistruths are being peddled by Hannity's cable news competition, adding financial gain to the cheap political incentives for delegitimizing him. Even after facts debunked the bogus claim that Hannity had improperly used funds raised by the Freedom Alliance charity, MSNBC libtalker Ed Schultz parroted the claims as fact. Now, apparently accepting that the claims are total nonsense, Schultz and fellow talk radio hitman Mike Malloy have found another absurd charge to level at Hannity: he praised Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh. What actually happened? Glad you asked: Hannity conveyed the utter absurdity of the liberal media's portrayal of conservatives by sarcastically calling an audience at the Reagan Library "Tim McVeigh wannabes." (Audio and transcript below the fold - h/t Radio Equalizer.)
It's an archaic way of thinking - unless it's imposed upon conservatives, then it's OK. It's this notion that commentators that are right-of-center should know their place - that place being only in the realms of talk radio or on the Fox News Channel. Otherwise, it is unacceptable.
At issue is Erickson's claim he would pull a shotgun on an American Community Survey (ACS) worker, an organization that is part of the U.S. Census Bureau, if he attempted to approach his home. However, Erickson's statement has been framed by his critics that he is attempting to prevent the Census Bureau from fulfilling a constitutional requirement, and that has been deemed "threatening" by Andy Barr of Politico in an April 2 post.
Is it possible to be so wrapped up in a media culture that one could minimize a sacred religious holiday in a shoddy attempt to write a clever headline? Mediaite's Tommy Christopher and his editors seemed to have pulled this feat off.
Christopher, who has had a much-publicized run-in with Andrew Breitbart, has a new hero, former American Enterprise Institute scholar David Frum. Christopher elevated Frum to messianic status in a Good Friday April 2 post headlined "Did David Frum ‘Die' For GOP's Sins?" specifically praising the former AEI scholar for his appearance on Comedy Central's April 1 "The Colbert Report."
A lefty columnist for the Huffington Post believes that the media's coverage of the health care debate was sorely lacking. NewsBusters wholeheartedly agrees. Yes, we agree with the Huffington Post.
You see, we were under the impression that columnist Allison Kilkenny was less than honest after she used the staged homicide of a census worker to claim that conservatives were fomenting violence. In fact, the death was ruled a suicide.
But today Kilkenny echoed NB's complaints when she wrote of the "shoddy journalism" and "low-quality gutter-dredging techniques" that "successfully brainwashed millions of readers and viewers." Yes, the public really was let down by those substandard journalists at…wait a minute. The Wall Street Journal? Fox News? She must have meant ABC, NBC, and CBS, right?
"A strong Democratic majority in Congress does not mean a strong abortion-rights majority," Newsweek's Sarah Kliff lamented in a March 31 "Web exclusive," the subhead for which asks "[W]hy is there an anti-abortion-rights majority in the House?"
"That fact became painfully clear during the health-care-reform debate, when intraparty fissures over abortion threatened to derail the Democrats' legislation, arguably more so than any other issue," the Newsweek staffer continued, going on to paint the Democratic Party as more tolerant on dissent than Republicans when it comes to the stance of its politicians on abortion-related issues.
In fact, Kliff griped, it's the Democrats' fielding of pro-life candidates in conservative congressioanl districts that gums up its ability to "govern," she concluded, pointing to how pro-life concerns over federal subsidies for abortion impacted the ObamaCare legislative debate. Notice in the first line below how Kliff cribbed from pro-choice activists' language about abortion rights (emphasis mine):
Democrats clearly support a woman's right to choose in their party platform. But when it comes to candidates in swing states and more-conservative districts, the party often supports people who oppose abortion rights. It's a strategy that has helped Democrats take over Congress and amass a commanding majority in the last two elections. But the health-care debate shows the challenges it presents for them when trying to govern.
The map appears on this page of the Democratic Leadership Committee [sic] website (dated 2004 during the Bush years). I guess we could argue over whether the DLC counts as “senior party officials” but they’re certainly as much a part of the party as Palin who, after all, currently holds no elected office.
Granted these are bulls-eyes instead of gun-sights, and the targets are states not individual congressmen. But we’re really splitting hairs at this point. This map and the language it uses (Behind enemy lines!) are, if anything, more militant than what Palin used in her Facebook posting.
In doing so, Klein [pictured in file photo at right] contrasted Frum with "extreme" conservatives who were "pretty close to Jonestown" by "drinking their own kool-aid." Not only is the former Bush speechwriter a friend whose thinking he respects "even when we disagree," Klein argued that Frum is the Right's Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a genteel intellectual who bucked his party on some tenets of its orthodoxy but ultimately was vindicated by history:
I have some experience with a party intent on committing suicide. The Democrats were profoundly self-destructive when it came to race and crime in the 1970s and 1980s. They nearly excommunicated Daniel Patrick Moynihan--one of my mentors--because he told the truth about the impact of out-of-wedlock births on the black family. Over time, Moynihan's thesis was proved by sociology--and supported by prominent AFrican-American [sic] progressive scholars like William Julius Wilson--but he was never really welcomed back into the fold. And he didn't really care. Because he knew he was right.
Republicans are escalating political violence against Democrats by not shutting up with their insipid anti-ObamaCare talking points. That seems to be the argument of Time magazine writer Alex Altman, at least.
Of course, that headline presupposes that the isolated incidents of violence on record are part of an actual campaign of intimidation, a charge that Altman failed to substantiate with any evidence of conspiracy or collusion on the part of elected Republican officials and/or TEA Party leaders.
But that aside, Altman’s complaint seems to be with Republican legislators continuing to voice their dissent regarding the newly enacted health care legislation: