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:
Newsweek's Liz White took to her magazine's The Gaggle blog today to decry how conservatives critical of the Democratic health care bill have slapped it with "the ominous-sounding term ‘Obamacare.'"
You see, most mainstream media sources only use the term when quoting opponents of the bill or when "carefully placed in quotations or alongside an explanation that Obamacare is how opposition refers to the bill."
This prompted me to investigate how Newsweek dealt with the term "Reaganomics" during the Gipper's early presidency compared to how Newsweek's print pages have used the term "ObamaCare" thus far. The results are telling.
A Nexis search yielded only one reference to ObamaCare from January 20, 2009 through March 25, 2010: a Michael Hirsh article that said that in 1994, "as now, the Republicans were trying to exploit a backlash against big government. It was Hillarycare in '94; now it's Obamacare."
By contrast, a Nexis search for "Reaganomics" from January 20, 1981 through March 25, 1982 yielded 65 hits, many of which had the term Reaganomics used by a Newsweek staffer himself and in a manner to cast the term in a negative light.
I've included some examples below, including some by journalists who are still working in the media today and actively cheering on ObamaCare:
Author and Huffington Post Rob Asghar joined many in the media March 24 by not only bashing the Palin family, but “Christian sex” as well.
Asghar went further than some, actually criticizing Christianity’s call for pre-marital abstinence. In his post on the liberal Web site, “Bristol Palin and the Trouble with Christian Sex,” Asghar adamantly argued against delaying sex until marriage and used Palin as an example to support his claim.
He bashed the Palin family and their support for abstinence more than he attacked Bristol Palin saying: “While Bristol seems much sweeter than the rest of that clan, that arrogantly church-going family reminds me of three fundamental problems that arise from traditional Biblical instruction on sex.”
"Let's just get it out of the way right off that bat that Al Qaeda madmen don't actually want to blast through bridges, skyscrapers, and subways in righteous protest of the First Amendment," an exasperated Katie Paul began her March 23 tirade about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent address to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
"It's mind-boggling that politicians still consider this nonsense an effective enough talking point as to employ it in their keynote speeches to national audiences--until, that is, you realize they usually only bring it up when they're after something else," the Newsweek reporter added in her The Gaggle blog post, going on to argue Netanyahu's AIPAC speech was just red meat tossed out to a pro-Israel audience to bolster his closed-door meeting with President Obama over the Middle East peace process.
To be fair, it is true that politicians can and do simplify complex matters into sound bites that don't do justice to the issues at hand, but in this case, Paul is far too dismissive of the argument that al Qaeda's real complaint is not just with particular foreign policies of the United States and/or Israel but with the whole Western concept of secular, pluralistic liberal democracy.
Indeed, Paul doesn't have to take any politician's word for it, she need only look at al Qaeda's own pronouncements. From a February 4, 2005 Congressional Research Service document entitlted "Al Qaeda: Statements and Evolving Ideology" (emphases mine):
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has announced that it is disbanding.
Though the hard-leftists that formed or were running it are likely to show up in some other venue and perhaps in a successor organization down the road (Update: or perhaps burrow themselves into the government, as NB commenter "Hunter 12" suggests), this is a moment to savor. Two twenty-somethings, acting entirely on their own, assisted later by a skilled mentor who knew the value of their work and how to maximize the mileage to be gained from it, brought down what had turned into a pretentious, intimidating, fraud-riddled wing of the Democratic Party's get out the vote effort. All that remains -- frankly more than should be allowed to remain -- is ACORN Housing Corporation. According to USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, whose related article is behind its subscription wall, is saying that ACORN Housing "has a separate budget and board."
In one last act of sympathy, most of the press is giving ACORN's leaders a chance to vent without rebuttal and in some cases supplying their own sour grapes. Here are some examples:
What's more, nearly an hour and a half before Mak provided readers with his analysis, veteran conservative journalist and American Spectator editor R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., personally penned a retraction to an earlier Spectator blog post entitled "Hannity's Big Rip-Off," in which writer John Tabin linked to Schlussel's incendiary allegations and concluded that "Hannity has a lot of explaining to do":
Jenna Wolfe's introduction of her guest on health-care on this morning's Today would surely have led viewers to believe he was an objective, apolitical voice. What Wolfe didn't tell viewers is that Andrew Rubin is a HuffPo blogger and such an avid ObamaCare advocate that he urged his readers to call Congress to lobby for it. Here was Wolfe's intro:
"The politics surrounding the health-care bill has dominated the headlines. But with the House vote just hours away, what's really in this bill and how will it affect you? Andrew Rubin is the host of HealthCare Connect on Sirius XM Radio. Andrew, good morning. There's so much involved here; let's try to break this down as to how it affects everyone."
I began to doubt Rubin's objectivity when he explained the bill's effect on various demographic groups by in in every case claiming that ObamaCare would be good in the short run and even better in the long run. I kept waiting for some balance: a discussion for example, of the massive taxes ObamaCare imposes, or the loss of freedom that the individual mandate represents. But never a discouraging word was heard. ObamaCare: all gain, no pain!
Huffington Post blogger Tamara McClintock Greenberg gave one more reason in support of same-sex marriage - without it, her friends "might be forced to leave the country."
Greenberg lamented her friends' situation: "As same-sex partners, not only do they lack the basic rights of any couple in love to marry, since one person is an immigrant on a student visa, they may have to move to another country that acknowledges gay rights and marriage."
With that unique argument out of the way, the rest of Greenberg's post was a textbook-perfect liberal screed against those standing in the way of marriage for gay and lesbian couples. She was ashamed of America and compared it to countries where atrocious human rights violations are committed everyday. She blamed Christianity for our intolerance, and argued that homosexual couples are no different than heterosexual couples.
"Hot on the heels of Kucinich's declaration of support for health-care reform, the Associated Press is reporting that Catholic nuns are urging Democratic lawmakers to support health-care reform," Newsweek's Katie Connolly informed readers of the magazine's The Gaggle blog this morning.
"This is a major break with the church's bishops, who have strongly opposed the legislation on the grounds that some federal subsidies may end up funding abortions," Connolly gushed, later closing her blog post with the conclusion that "[a]t the very least, the letter damages the validity of [pro-life Democrat Rep. Bart] Stupak's argument."
Both Connolly's post and the underlying AP story failed to delve into this, but the letter in question was not simply cobbled together by apolitical nuns. It was pushed out to the media by a group with a left-wing agenda, reports CatholicCulture.org:
"[H]ypocrisy is a well-established parliamentary procedure," Tumulty noted in her March 17 Swampland blog post before contrasting the Hoyer of 2010 to the in-the-minority-party Hoyer of 2003 who decried "deem and pass" as "demeaning of democracy" and cautioned that its prior use should not excuse the practice in the future (emphases mine):
2010: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on the idea of passing health care with a self-executing rule:
The House Democratic leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer, also defended the maneuver on Tuesday. “It is consistent with the rules,” Mr. Hoyer said. “It is consistent with former practice.”
2003: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer complaining about the Republicans' use of self-executing rules:
When Glenn Beck told listeners of his radio show on March 2 that they should "run as fast as you can" from any church that preached "social or economic justice" because those were code words for Communism and Nazism, he probably thought he was tweaking a few crunchy religious liberals who didn't listen to the show anyway. Instead he managed to outrage Christians in most mainline Protestant denominations, African-American congregations, Hispanic churches, and Catholics--who first heard the term "social justice" in papal encyclicals and have a little something in their tradition called "Catholic social teaching. (Not to mention the teaching of a certain fellow from Nazareth who was always blathering on about justice...)
So to whom did Sullivan turn for complaints about Beck's characterization? Some theologically conservative Catholic theologian? A conservative Protestant theologian like Baptist seminary president Al Mohler or Presbyterian theologian R.C. Sproul?
Nope. She highlighted two stalwarts of social gospel-oriented liberal Christianity:
Last week the Obama administration worked itself up into high dudgeon over a decision by the Israeli government to green light a housing project in an east Jerusalem neighberhood. While its true the decision came down at an indelicate time -- right in the middle of Vice President Joe Biden's visit -- the actual substance of the decision was perfectly legal and in contravention of no prior agreement with the United States related to the peace process.
Klein -- who last March insisted that President Obama should take to the bully pulpit to lecture Israel on its 'moral standing' -- concluded his post by subtly questioning the patriotism of American members of the pro-Israel group AIPAC:
On Sunday's Newsroom, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin disputed the conclusion of the Los Angeles Times on the apparently shocking new political initiative of Clarence Thomas's wife Virginia Thomas, that it "could give rise to conflicts of interest for her husband...as it tests the norms for judicial spouses." Toobin defended Mrs. Thomas' grassroots conservative work.
Anchor Don Lemon brought on the senior legal analyst just before the bottom of the 10 pm Eastern hour to discuss Kathleen Hennessey's article in the Sunday L.A. Times, titled "Justice's wife launches 'tea party' group." The Times writer indicated that Mrs. Thomas' new organization somehow risked the partiality of the Court, as indicated in the article’s subtitle, "The nonprofit run by Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is likely to test notions of political impartiality for the court." She continued later that "the move by Virginia Thomas, 52, into the front lines of politics stands in marked contrast to the rarefied culture of the nation's highest court, which normally prizes the appearance of nonpartisanship and a distance from the fisticuffs of the politics of the day."
Three weeks after the mother on ABC’s Brothers and Sisters (“Nora Walker” played by Sally Field) fretted over the GOP “denying global warming,” the ABC drama on Sunday night featured an episode centered around her daughter, “Kitty Walker-McCallister,” a Republican candidate for Senate in California played by Calista Flockhart, coming under attack from conservative rubes who think she used her influence to get the visa renewed for her older sister’s French boyfriend, “Luc.”
At a campaign event with mini-video camera-toting bloggers visible, protesters boo and repeatedly chant: “America for Americans!” as they hold up signs, such as “FRENCHIE GO HOME!!!” and, with a mustache added to Kitty’s face, “Hi Kitler!” Just like the real media’s slander of Tea Party protesters.
Kitty’s husband whom she is running to succeed, incumbent “Senator Robert McCallister,” played by Rob Lowe, charges: “It’s just the conservative purity police trying to purge the party of lily-livered Republican moderates.” Kitty complains to her sister, “Sarah Walker,” played by Rachel Griffiths: “I am fighting for my political life with a bunch of ultra-conservative yahoos who want my head because you decided to fall in love with a guy who has immigration issues.”
Audio: 90-second MP3 clip that matches the video highlights from the March 14 episode.
Bloggers and activists on the left are furious when anyone suggests that the religion of Islam leads to violence. But on Thursday, bomb-throwing secularist Barrett Brown on the Daily Kos (and also on the blog True/Slant) compares the Catholic Church – unfavorably – to the atrocities of Stalinism and Maoism.
He even wrote, more broadly, that "Next to the Christian God, Stalin was a piker" – in that, Stalin only killed your body, while God torments the souls of unbelievers like him for eternity. Brown argues that the Catholic Church was a remarkable slaughterer without modern technology:
To smile upon the Church for reigning [sic] in its excesses is to smile upon the Soviet hardliners for reigning in its own. Both were dragged into an age of individual liberty by way of other ideologies. Look back upon the road on which they were taken, and one sees the marks made by fingernails grasping frantically at the ground in an effort to stop the process.
Two reports linked by Instapundit earlier today demonstrate at a macro and micro level how weak the claim that Toyota has deliberately jeopardized consumer safety in connection with "sudden acceleration" complaints may ultimately turn out to be.
The macro piece comes from Megan McArdle (pictured at left; "How Real are the Defects in Toyota's Cars?") at her blog at the Atlantic. The magazine's business and economics editor dissected case-by-case detail originally compiled by the Los Angeles Times, which was also analyzed to an extent by Washington Examiner op-ed writer and Overlawyered blogger Ted Frank, to make important points about the likelihood of driver error in many of them.
The micro item comes from Michael Fumento, whose Forbes column takes apart the recent James Sikes "sudden acceleration" incident in California as it rips the establishment media for its total lack of skepticism about the driver's claims and his credibility.
First, to McArdle, who also has nicely done graphs at her post:
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship sure have something against health care insurance companies and the Chamber of Commerce. Moyers, the liberal host of PBS’s “Bill Moyers Journal,” and Winship, the show’s senior writer, slammed both for making money and lobbying in the March 12 Huffington Post article.
The article, “Ask the Chamber of Commerce: Why Is Too Much Not Enough?” was a long complaint about “the health care industry saying to hell with consumers and then hiking premium….” They continued whining and wrote, “This week, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the health insurance industry's lobby, announced they'd be spending more than a million dollars on new television ads justifying their costs.”
"Sponsors of those [sic] Stars on Ice figure skating tour apparently think that Olympian Johnny Weir is too flamboyant for their show. Weir reportedly prohibited from participating because he is not, quote, 'family friendly,'" MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan complained shortly before 5 p.m. on his MSNBC program today, citing a report by a blog published by GLAAD [the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation].
Ratigan griped that despite Weir's athletic credentials and well-known support of his family -- he's financing his brother's college education and supporting his father, who is unable to work due to a disability -- that the sponsors of the show, including Smucker's, "apparently... don't view supporting your family as family-friendly."
Ratigan then noted an online petition circulating to include Weir in the tour, but failed to include any reply from Stars on Ice, although just a few minutes before Ratigan went on the air, at least one news source had noted that Stars on Ice denied GLAAD's allegation.
Gay/lesbian publication MetroWeekly.com's Chris Geidner published the following to the Web at 4:38 p.m. EST, about 13 minutes before Ratigan went on air to further GLAAD's complaint on air (emphases mine):
CNN.com has an article on its website extolling the virtues of the Coffee Party. The glowing language the piece uses to describe the movement stands in stark contrast to the cable network's treatment of Tea Party groups over the past year.
It is plain now that CNN harbors no such ill will towards the Coffee Party, which reporter Jessica Ravitch described as just a bunch of everyday Americans gathering to express their dissatisfaction with the political status quo (gee, that sounds a lot like the Tea Party movement, but I digress).
[Update, 10:48 pm Eastern: Audio & video clips added.]
On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips sympathetically interviewed a woman who unapologetically Tweeted her chemically-induced abortion as it happened. Instead of offering the pro-life viewpoint, Phillips lamented how her guest received "e-mails and the responses [which] were so brutal." The anchor later admitted that she "didn't want to get into a debate about abortion" [audio clip available here].
During the interview, Phillips tossed softball questions at blogger Angie Jackson, who is known on Twitter as "antitheistangie," or "Angie the Anti-Theist" on her blog (Phillips didn't mention her guest's political or philosophical outlook during the entire segment). After playing a clip of Jackson from YouTube.com, Phillips first asked, "So, Angie- you know, did it take a while to come to a comfort zone, that you wanted to do this? Tell me how you eventually decided, this is how I'm going to do it and I'm going to let everybody see it happen."
Old Media's fatal conceit is the belief that it's not news unless it's reported by a major newspaper, magazine, or television station. Reports from new and alternative media, in Old Media's eyes, are tainted, and not to be believed...unlike, of course, the reliable, factual, and always objective mainstream media.
NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd, at right in a file photo, has been a leading critic of what he now has dubbed "Drudge-driven journalism," perhaps better described as journalism emanating from somewhere outside of Old Media's newsrooms and television studios. "I just don't think that that's the proper way for us to decide what's news," he told Mediaite's Tommy Christopher of the Drudge Report's influence and agenda-setting ability.
"There's no worse crime in journalism these days than simply deciding something's a story because Drudge links to it," he added. Apparently he still feels that NBC and its Old Media counterparts are qualified and capable of deciding what is and is not a story.
Huffington Post writer and White House adviser Eboo Patel asked who deserves to be called something greater than an “American patriot?” Even a “faith hero” – something Patel only bestows upon the “true giants of history?” Van Jones. Yes, Jones, the former “Green Jobs” czar who resigned in September when controversies surrounding him, such as him being a communist, began to emerge.
In a March 5 article on Huffington Post Religion, “Van Jones, Faith Hero,” Patel, however, put all of Jones’ troubles aside and put him on a pedestal. Although if Patel was only receiving his news from the traditional media it would be understandable because they largely failed to report Jones had his name on a petition that questioned if 9/11 was orchestrated by the U.S. government.
Having closely examined this week's slanted coverage by the Washington Post of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington's decision to end spousal health care benefits, GetReligion.org's Mollie Z. Hemingway zeroed in on the heart of the media bias present in today's piece, "Catholic Charities' health-plan change called 'devastating'"*, which begins with a former Catholic Charities officer lamenting the organization's decision to not grant health insurance to spouses of future employees in order to avoid having to cover same-sex couples married in the District of Columbia:
The narrative on this story could be framed as one where the Catholic Church is doing everything in its power to be able to continue serving the poor here in DC against an oppressive government crackdown on religious freedom — even changing its benefits structure so that it won’t be in violation of church teaching. Instead, it’s basically framed as a choice that the Archbishop decided to make so as to mess with gays. The power to frame a story is huge and largely unseen by readers.
Sullivan did some number crunching and found that, due to concerns about a lack of a restriction on abortion spending in the Senate bill, Pelosi may end up being a few votes shy of the threshold to pass the legislation.
Sullivan's advice to the Speaker? She just needs to moderate her testy tone to dupe enough pro-life Democrats to voting for a bill that lacks the Stupak amendment which was passed in the House version of the bill (emphasis mine):
Cesca gets straight to his point, “Because when you strip away all of the rage, all of the nonsensical loud noises and all of the contradictions, all that's left is race. The tea party is almost entirely about race, and there's no comparative group on the left that's similarly motivated by bigotry, ignorance and racial hatred.”
To follow up on Brent Baker's post about the move to put Ronald Reagan on the 50-dollar bill, this was not well-received by the feverish left at the Daily Kos. The blogger "Kansasr" wailed on Wednesday:
It's bad enough that I have to fly into the Regan [sic] airport in Washington (I still call it National) or have to drive on the Ronald Regan [sic] Turnpike in Florida. What's next? Slobodan Milosevic on the twenty?
To ask how one would compare Reagan to a Yugoslavian war criminal, you would have to imbibe deeply of the myth that Reagan did nothing about AIDS. (That's what they call "counter-factual." See Brent Bozell's refutation here.) But that's the rationale:
"As the House prepares for its final push on health care, there are Democratic members, particularly those from conservative districts, who are facing a hard truth: This is the kind of vote that can end a career," Time magazine's Karen Tumulty lamented in a March 3 Swampland blog post entitled "When A Hard Vote Ends A Political Career."
Eh, suck it up, the veteran journalist practically counseled House Democrats wary of voting for the Democratic health care legislation, after all, there is life after politics. Just look at Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinski, who lost her seat in the 1994 midterm election which swept Republicans into control of Congress.
Margolies-Mezvinski doomed herself with a vote to hike taxes, Tumulty noted, but brought readers up to speed on the former congresswoman's life after politics to lay out the case that Mezvinski thinks her vote was worth it in the long run.
Tumulty concluded with a hint that Democrats in endangered seats need to consider leaving a "legacy" by passing ObamaCare (emphasis mine):
Define hypocrisy: Arianna Huffington claiming that Fox News President Roger Ailes plays off of Americans' fear and paranoia.
Indeed, while Huffington Post columnists call American political leaders criminals, terrorists, and Nazis and occasionally fantasize about their deaths, Huffington has the gall to claim, "If you’re looking for the usual flame-throwing, name-calling, and simplistic attack dog rhetoric....don’t bother coming to The Huffington Post." She then turns around and criticizes Ailes for appealing to paranoia. Unbelievable.
But Ailes has never been one to shrink from a fight. He noted Huffington's arrant hypocrisy on Monday's segment of "Uncommon Knowledge", a webshow produced by National Review Online (video and transript below the fold - relevant portion begins at 0:52):