Michigan Congressman John Dingell announced his retirement today. The Democrat's career as Congress's longest-serving member will end with this session.
With the help of a related statement by President Obama, press coverage predictably placed great emphasis on Dingell's decades-long advocacy of universal health care coverage and his involvement in the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, which used to be the law governing the scope and implementation of state-controlled health care until the Obama administration's regime of pre-implementation waivers and post-passage changes turned it into the mush which should now and forever be called "Obamacare." That emphasis on Obamacare "somehow" overlooked an infamous but truthful statement Dingell made to WJR Radio's Paul W. Smith shortly after the original law's passage in March 2010. It's the kind of statement the press would have covered when Dingell originally made it (they didn't), and would never have forgotten if it had been made by a Republican or conservative.
In a lengthy item "as told to Joe Hagan" at NYMag.com's The Vulture, actor, commercial pitchman, and brief MSNBC host Alec Baldwin makes it very clear that he is fed up with a lot of things.
There is plenty of material for discussion in his writeup. I want to focus on what he sees as his mistreatment at the hands of MSNBC and the self-described "progressive" community. Unfortunately, after said mistreatment, it's clear that he still doesn't get the difference between legitimate if strident criticism and expressions of over-the-top hatred, as the excerpts which follow will show (bolds are mine):
MSNBC.com continues to show that it is more of a liberal blog designed to peddle extreme talking points than an actual news website. Take for example their newest article with the headline that screams “Can Homophobia Kill You.”
Author Emma Margolin began her February 23 piece by huffing that “it comes as no surprise that anti-gay prejudice carries with it a wide range of damaging effects, but could one of them be death?” Margolis’ ridiculous and inflammatory statement came in response to two studies, one published in the journal Social Science and Medicine which claimed that “sexual minorities living in high-prejudice communities faced shorter life expectancies by approximately 12 years.”
On Thursday, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters noted that none of the three broadcast networks had covered the intent of the Federal Communications Commission, in the words of Byron York at the Washington Examiner, to "send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's 'critical information needs.'"
Given that the nets take many of their new prioritization cues from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, and to a lesser extent from the New York Times, it shouldn't surprise anyone that searches at the self-described "essential global news network" and at the Old Gray Lady indicate that neither outlet has covered it. The FCC has supposedly backtracked, but not really, as Katy Bachman at AdWeek noted yesterday (bolds are mine throughout this post):
As you probably know, the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference will take place early next month just outside of Washington. The typical conservative thinks of CPAC as the major annual gathering of the activist right. On the other hand, Daily Kos featured writer Hunter views it as "a collection of people who have a pathologic inability to feel shame" over their copious political misjudgments and screw-ups.
Does Zachary Roth ever get tired of hyperventilating over new voting laws being passed across the country? He must not because yet again the MSNBC reporter freaked out over the Republican-controlled legislature “restricts the right to vote.” Just in the last year, Roth has penned more than 50 articles on the subject of voting and how the GOP wants to make it harder for Democrats and minorities to vote.
The February 20 article began with Roth groaning that “Ohio lawmakers passed two restrictive Republican voting billsWednesday night, raising the prospect that casting a ballot this fall could be much more difficult, especially for minority voters.”
That attention makes the press's virtual inattention outside of the Nutmeg State itself to what has since been learned all the more difficult to justify. It turns out that there are now three types of so-called "assault weapon" owners in Connecticut: those who registered by the deadline, those whose registrations came in after the deadline, and those who defied the state's registration demand. As J.D. Tuccille at Reason.com reported on Tuesday, the second group is on track to having their guns confiscated, and the number of people in the third group dwarfs those in the first two — a situation which has greatly upset the political establishment, particularly the editorial board at the state's largest newspaper (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
According to a USA Today item carried at ABC News, "Sixty percent of adults can't drink milk." In July 2012, the New York Times ran an item entitled, "Got Milk? You Don't Need It." But the last time I checked, everyone uses electricity to some extent.
I'm bringing up these points because, as a friend showed me earlier today, the establishment press has run stories galore in the past several weeks about increases in the price of milk, but, as I noted a couple of days ago, has paid virtually no attention to coming increases in wholesale electricity costs of up to 80% which are due solely to Environmental Protection Agency regulations requiring the use of unproven and not commercially available "carbon capture" technology.
The left constantly rants about alleged illegal coordination between conservative and Republican candidates and groups with little to no proof. At least once, when it had no evidence, it went to court to try to get a judge to allow them to engage in a wide-ranging fishing expedition to find something, anything, which might "prove" it. Fortunately, a Wisconsin judge in mid-January turned back that request involving Badger State Governor Scott Walker and organizations which independently advocated for his 2010 election and defended him against the 2012 recall effort.
James O'Keefe's latest video involving Battleground Texas would appear to demonstrate that many in the left assume conservatives routinely engage in illegal campaign activity because, well, the left routinely engages in illegal campaign activity. Watch Project Veritas's latest video after the jump, and ask yourself whether the illegal use of voter information O'Keefe exposes would be ignored by the press if a conservative or Republican organization were engaging in it:
The Daily Beast’s Dean Obeidallah really wants his readers to believe that Taliban-style Sharia Law is threatening America, only, of course, it's coming from evangelical Christians. In a February 18th piece, Obeidallah hyperventilates how “Mainstream conservatives are trying to bring America’s laws into agreement with ‘God’s law’.”
The piece began with Obeidallah whining that
The question isn’t: Will conservatives push to enact laws based on the Bible? The real questions are: 1. How many more of these laws do they want to impose? And, 2. What will our nation look like if their crusade is successful to bring America’s laws into agreement with “God’s law”?
As we've documented time and again, MSNBC.com’s Zachary Roth is obsessed with defending the ballot box from his favorite villain: the GOP. His February 18 item may have taken the cake for fear-mongering and outright peddling of liberal talking points.
Roth penned a nearly 1500-word piece in which he threw together examples from the 1800s and 1900s where certain segments of the population were excluded from voting -- by Democrats, of course -- as evidence of the “conservative case to limit voting.”
NOTE: Go to the end of this post to see my reaction to an email NB received from OpenSecrets.org.
The web site OpenSecrets.org has done a great deal of useful work. Especially helpful are its lists of high-dollar political campaign donor organizations.
The web site's 1989-2014 and 2012-specific lists, to name just two, demonstrate that the hyperventilating on the left and in the establishment press about the eeeevil Koch Brothers is completely out of line:
MSNBC.com has drawn a line in the sand regarding where it stands on the “consensus” of man-made climate change. Following Bill Nye’s appearance on Sunday’s Meet the Press, MSNBC.com’s Ned Resnikoff continued to peddle the liberal line on climate change and conveniently dismissed any skepticism of human involvement on the issue.
Just yesterday, David Gregory, moderator of Meet the Press, used the term “consensus” six times when objecting to Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-Tenn.) hesitation on whether or not the federal government should spend billions of dollars on climate change related programs. Resnikoff must have gotten Gregory’s memo as he ran a website article nearly mirroring Gregory’s liberal talking points on climate change, including using the “consensus” phrase.
On Fox News Sunday earlier today, George Will got in some tremendous rips at global warming/"climate change" alarmism.
Although Will's criticism was primarily aimed at politicians, we cannot overlook the fact that their enablers in the establishment press have made their immature "climate denier" and "flat earther" name-calling rants possible by unskeptically allowing their so-called "settled science" to be seen as explanations for Britain's recent floods and California's droughts. President Obama is pushing the drought nonsense, when it's bad man-made water policy which is to blame. Video and the relevant portion of the FNS transcript are after the jump (HT Mediaite; bolds are mine):
The three Associated Press reports I've seen on the UAW's failure to win the right to represent hourly workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee — the first two were covered in NewsBusters posts here and here; the wire service's 3:52 p.m. report is here — all mention in one way or another what UAW President Bob King is now calling "unprecedented outside interference" in the runup to the election. (VW, which can only run the factory with the kind of "workers councils" it has at its other worldwide plants in the U.S. if its workers are represented by an outside union, supported the UAW's efforts.)
But AP reporters Tom Krisher and Erik Schelzig, as well as panelists discussing the aftermath on Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC program this morning, "somehow" ignored the "outside interference" of the person who holds the most powerful political office on earth. That's right. President Obama, whose National Labor Relations Board conducted the election, weighed in on Friday morning with statements at a "closed door" meeting which were clearly designed to be leaked. Here is what Richard Cowan and Bernie Woodall at Reuters reported on Friday morning (HT Gateway Pundit):
In 1991, the Afrocentric rapper Sister Souljah released a single and video, "The Final Solution: Slavery's Back in Effect," which portrayed an America of the near future in which slavery for black persons had indeed been reinstituted.
But what if slavery -- for persons of all colors -- never went away in the U.S., and what if it's more or less inevitable under our economic system? Daily Kos blogger "Vyan" pondered such questions in a Thursday post, wondering whether slavery might be the "default setting" of a free-market economy and asserting that capitalism benefits "the powerful" and harms "nearly everyone else":
The latest evidence that Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis can't stay true to her convictions or doesn't have any (take your pick) is her position modification on abortion. Steve Ertelt at Life News relays an underlying Dallas News item, telling his readers that "Davis said she would back a 20-week abortion ban as long as it had two exceptions, to kill disabled babies and a health exception rendering any ban meaningless." Point taken, Steven but the idea that Davis would support anything described as a 20-week ban is a significant change from the position which supposedly drove her to filibuster a Texas law last year containing the ban.
Reaction from the establishment press can fairly be described as schizophrenic ("characterized by a breakdown in thinking and poor emotional responses"), and ranges from crickets to cries of "betrayal" to amazing exercises in excuse-making.
In yet another example of revisionist history, MSNBC.com’s Suzy Khimm conveniently blamed the GOP for Congress’s failure to extend unemployment benefits, leaving out how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has repeatedly prevented votes on GOP amendments to offset unemployment benefit spending with cuts elsewhere.
Khimm lamented how "With a major snowstorm approaching the East Coast, Congress decided on Wednesday it had some urgent business to take care of before going home for recess…extending federal unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless didn’t make the list."
The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky has no qualms about his dislike, if not outright hatred, for Republicans especially the Tea Party. In a February 11 piece, Tomasky gleefully cheered that the “GOP caves on debt limit.”
Tomasky, who frequents MSNBC to rant about Republicans cheered the “huge Obama win” on a "clean" debt-ceiling vote, and proceeded to shame the GOP for demanding in the past that any debt ceiling increase be accompanied by some spending cuts.
A heated discussion between Fox News's Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera on Friday exemplifies two important points.
The first and most obvious is that the kind of discussion seen in the video segment which follows would rarely happen on Fox's cable competitors — yet it's Fox which the establishment press usually describes as biased to the right, while giving CNN and occassionally even MSNBC a pass. Second, Geraldo's position on O'Reilly's aggressive interview — which was, in essence, "How dare you!" — is a commonly held view on the left, whose representatives and reporters would never have had a problem with anyone using the same style with George W. Bush or any other Republican or conservative president. The video and key quotes from the segment follow the jump.
Following the footsteps of MSNBC last year, The Daily Beast has taken it upon themselves to label the NFL's first (prospectively) openly gay football player Michael Sam “The NFL’s Jackie Robinson.” Sam, who played defensive end for the University of Missouri, came out to his teammates last August but only recently announced publicly that he is homosexual. Last year, MSNBC’s openly gay host Thomas Roberts compared the NBA’s Jason Collins to Jackie Robinson and today Ben Jacobs decided the ridiculous comparison was appropriate of Sam.
Other than the fact that Michael Sam, if drafted, of course, will be the first openly gay NFL player, Jacobs failed to explain why the college athlete is comparable to Jackie Robinson. In fact, other than on The Daily Beast’s homepage, there was no other mention of Robinson in the entire piece.
Some liberals don't find bigotry at the root of conservative Republican opposition to immigration reform, but many others do, and in that latter group, Daily Kos founder and publisher Markos Moulitsas is among the most persistent.
Kos was at it again in a post this past Wednesday, arguing that Tea Party GOPers in the House stand in the way of Republicans enhancing their appeal to politically important immigrant groups:
In yet another bizarre and extra-constitutional twist in the saga of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, a clearly sympathetic Associated Press — that's why I call it the Administration's Press — is reporting that the Obama administration is considering a three-year delay in demanding that health insurance companies drop so-called "substandard" or "junk" individual policies.
But that's not how the AP's Tom Murphy is framing the clearly leaked proposed move. You won't find the word "delay" in his entire story, which is a why a friend of mine who tried to find something about it online and couldn't thought that only Fox News was reporting it. No-no-no. The AP only describes the move as an "extension" which would take the pesky problem of arbitrarily cancelled individual policies off the table until — imagine that — after the 2016 elections (HT American Thinker via Free Republic; bolds are mine):
On Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the New York Times had made a critical change to a story about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's possible knowledge of lane closures in the area of the George Washington Bridge. The initial story was that a Port Authority official "has evidence" in the matter. A short time later, that claim was watered down to a far more speculative "evidence exists."
The erroneous "has evidence" version of the story quickly went viral on Friday afternoon, and is what many news readers likely still believe — especially because there is still no indication at Zernike's story that any change from the original was made. Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has a problem with that — as she should. There also appears to be an undercurrent of frustration at the Times that what comes off as a "gotcha" strategy didn't stick to Christie (HT James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web; bolds are mine throughout this post):
As we head into yet another year wondering whether Washington, meaning President Obama and both political parties, will finally betray the nation and pass some form of illegal-immigrant amnesty, "Machiavelli" at the Virtuous Republic blog reminds us that the argument is about more than depressed wages, "keeping families together," and (in the misguided minds of Catholic bishops) Christian charity.
Machiavelli went to Immigration and Customs Enforcement records for 2013 and found the following crime-related information the establishment press is extremely reluctant to acknowledge at its main page for removal statistics (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Even though MSNBC admits that one of its staffers shouldn't have tweeted that "the rightwing will hate" a Cheerios Super Bowl commercial about an interracial family, Daily Kos writer Hunter, who covers the conservative movement for the lefty blog, thinks the network showed weakness in not standing by the now-infamous tweet.
In a Monday post that mostly dealt with righties such as Allen West who objected to the multilingual rendition of "America the Beautiful" in Coca-Cola's Super Bowl spot, Hunter added:
Over at the Associated Press's national site, there's a story about how "Some of the largest public labor unions in Illinois filed a long-awaited lawsuit Tuesday challenging the state's new pension reform law."
Given that it involves hundreds of thousands of workers, it's probably fair to say that the news deserves national attention. But how about another story which involves over 800,000 union members who are deeply dissatisfied with Obamacare? Searches at AP on Unite Here and LUINA, the two unions involved, come up empty and with nothingrelevant, respectively.
Longtime readers here may recall that yours truly and others have written about liberties New York Times reporter Kate Zernike has taken with the truth, especially in her reporting on the Tea Party movement. Her penchant for inventing baseless stories about alleged racism in the movement once caused the late Andrew Breitbart to label her "a despicable human being."
Breitbart might well have the same reaction to the hours-later revision made at Zernike's Times story Friday about Chris Christie. Several alert bloggers and tweeters noted that her story about Christie's knowledge of shut lanes on the George Washington Bridge conveniently went from solid to speculative without any indication that any changes had been made.
On January 20, we are told by "goptvclips," Seattle TV Station King 5 aired a short segment on how children "are being denied specialty treatment by insurance providers on the Washington Health Benefits Network." To be clear, the video's conclusion indicates that "Children's went ahead and treated" some but apparently far from all of the affected children, but, obviously "they can't afford to keep doing it that way."
This story and likely many other stories like it are not national news. As will be seen later, it appears to not even be news at the station which originally presented the story. Situations like this should raise concerns that there is a determined effort on the part of the nation's establishment press to ignore bad-news stories relating to Obamacare. One suspects that there are similar stories waiting to be told all over the country. The video as carried at "goptvclips" and a transcript follow the jump.
MSNBC isn't anywhere near done apologizing for reflexively race-baiting conservatives.
The Cheerios biracial ad controversy ginned up by the far-left network did not begin with an isolated tweet. It began with the underlying report itself by Gabriela Resto-Montero. As originally seen by a poster at Free Republic, Ms. Resto-Montero described the reaction to the original appearance of the ad last June as a "conservative backlash." The the original June article at MSNBC does not characterize the "backlash" as anything but, well, a "backlash."