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:
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).
The Anderson Cooper 360 blog on CNN.com capped a leftward trend during the week of March 1 with a post on Friday from Obama supporter Tanya Acker, who accused pro-life activists of "racial paternalism" for highlighting the high abortion rate among blacks. Earlier in the week, the blog promoted the latest anti-conservative study from the Southern Poverty Law Center and sought anti-Jim Bunning sob stories.
CNN, both on-air and on its website, highlighted how Democratic leaders and President Obama spoke more than twice as long as Republican leaders at Thursday's health care summit. CNN.com's Political Ticker on Thursday noted how Republicans "spoke for just 111 minutes, about 30 percent of the total speaking time." The statistic was also cited on Campbell Brown on Thursday and American Morning on Friday.
The network's Jeff Simon and Charles Riley put up a six-paragraph article on the lopsided figures on CNN.com at 7:12 pm Eastern time: "A CNN analysis of the meeting shows that Democrats - including President Obama, who helmed the meeting - were granted more than twice the amount of speaking time as Republicans. Democrats spoke for a total of 135 minutes while President Obama spoke for 122 minutes, for a total of 257 minutes. Republicans, meanwhile, spoke for just 111 minutes, about 30 percent of the total speaking time."
"I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing." - Joe Biden, 2005
Few Americans would be shocked to hear that members of Congress are not always consistent, and occasionally outright hypocritical. Very often, however, the liberal media attempts to downplay Democratic double standards and highlight Republican ones.
Each recent change in the congressional majority, it seems has brought calls from the newly dominant party for an end to the filibuster. This Democratic majority is no different.
When noting rhetorical inconsistencies, however, the mainstream media has jumped at the chance to note that Republicans, now using the filibuster as a potential means to block Democratic health care legislation, were ardent advocates of majoritarianism in the Senate only a few years ago (as demonstrated in the video below the fold).
On February 14, CNN aired both segments of its special series “Black in America," and used the opportunity to perpetuate a harmful racial myth.
In the first installment, reporter Soledad O’Brien took viewers to Project Brotherhood, a clinic in the south side of Chicago offering free medical care and advice to its black residents.
“We are seeing an increasing amount of men with resources, who are just reluctant to access services elsewhere,” Dr. Pete Thomas, a clinic doctor told O’Brien.
“Why the reluctance? Dr. Thomas says black men are afraid of being exploited – a fear caused by history and the revelation that for forty years unsuspecting poor black men were used as medical guinea pigs in the infamous Tuskegee experiments,” O’Brien said.
Last Thursday, Roland Martin went nuclear on former Governor Sarah Palin in a rant clearly inspired by the "retard" dustup that devolved into a general screed against everything the CNN contributor could think of.
Among the lowlights of the piece, Martin: mocked those in "real America" for being Palin fans; accused her of giving speeches "full of falsehoods," and; claimed she was an empty-headed celebrity who wanted nothing more than money.
Perhaps this was what Martin had in mind when he encouraged President Obama to go gangsta on Republicans standing in the way. For someone supposedly concerned about partisan bickering, it was rich of Martin to suddenly drop all pretense of being a nonpartisan commentator.
CNN political analyst Roland Martin stirred things up on CNN.com with his editorial "Time to go gangsta on GOP." Martin is sick and tired of Republicans holding up Obama nominees, so he’s suggesting that the president act like Al Capone or maybe the movie version, Robert DeNiro in The Untouchables:
Obama's critics keep blasting him for Chicago-style politics. So, fine. Channel your inner Al Capone and go gangsta against your foes. Let 'em know that if they aren't with you, they are against you, and will pay the price.
Several conservative bloggers wondered if "gangsta" sounded less like Al Capone and more like gangsta rappers. Could that sound racially insensitive? Martin attacked a former editor of his at Creators Syndicate for objecting to the analogy:
My supposedly informative but in reality selective CNNMoney.com E-mail just alerted me to the fact that the unemployment rate dropped in January, but "somehow" forgot to reveal that 20,000 seasonally adjusted jobs were lost (see related post by BMI/NB's Julia Seymour):
CNNMoney.com also "forgot" to say anything about a downward 900,000-job revision (actually, even worse) to previous data (text is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report released at 8:30 a.m. ET):
Once again some members of the media have taken to branding Rush Limbaugh a racist, offering backhanded compliments and genuine surprise that a black woman could have won the Miss America contest whilst he served as judge.
As Boyce Watkins lamented in his Black Voices article, (emphasis mine throughout):
"This week, Rush Limbaugh was standing in front of a talented black woman who was trying to become Miss America. I am not sure if Rush voted for her or not, but the black woman was able to win. Caressa Cameron, a 22-year old from Virginia Commonwealth University, was crowned Saturday night as the winner of the 2010 Miss America pageant."
Watkins, himself a fervent anti-conservative from the Al Sharpton School of race baiting, was merely voicing what many in the media are thinking - a black woman won despite the presence of Limbaugh.
Take NBC Washington for example, who explains that Rush was indeed charmed by Ms. Cameron, saying that she won simply because she:
The White House continues to throw out random numbers in their quest to convince the public that their behemoth stimulus bill is saving jobs at a massive rate. The confusion has even seeped into the President's biggest support group - the media.
CNN recently announced how the stimulus plan funded nearly 600,000 jobs this past quarter. In their article, which parrots the numbers provided by the administration's Recovery.gov Web site, CNN hints that these figures may actually be low, in that they do not include jobs created 'indirectly' (emphasis mine throughout):
"It does not tally jobs created indirectly through companies buying supplies for stimulus projects, people spending their tax cuts, increased unemployment benefits and the like."
Would adding the number of indirect jobs have provided a boost to the stimulus numbers?
Not quite, according to a source CNN can likely trust - themselves...
It is a strange paradigm among much of the mainstream media that plummeting poll numbers are of far greater import for Republicans than they are for Democrats. That, at least, is the logical conclusion of the relative silence of major media outlets on the steep decline in President Obama's poll numbers compared with the decline in President Bush's.
According to an Allstate/National Journal poll released Wednesday, 50 percent of Americans would vote against President Obama if the presidential elections were held today. Only 39 percent say they would vote to re-elect the president.
But so far, this stunning development--given the President's sky-high approval ratings upon entering office--has gone seemingly unnoticed by the major television networks and most prominent print publications. Aside from some prominent blogs (whose coverage is by no means substandard), the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Washington Examiner are so far the only major outlets to report on the poll, according to a google news search (as of 2:00 PM).
CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom condemned the voter-approved Proposition 8 in California in an editorial on CNN.com on Tuesday, and labeled the Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas decision in 2003 as “the gay community's Brown v. Board of Education.” Bloom would later imply that the supporters of Prop 8 were “lunatic-fringe bigots.”
The legal analyst began the January 12, 2010 editorial, titled “Prop 8 is simply unconstitutional,” by contrasting “reckless heterosexual nuptials,” such as the 23 marriages of a grandmother in Indiana, with her friends Wilbert and Carlos, “‘free men’ together 16 years and lovingly raising a son, [who] are shut out of the 1,100 federal and hundreds of state legal benefits that come with marriage.” She continued by dropping another personal anecdote, citing the “children in same-sex families: kids like my friends’ son Dorian, growing up with the sting of knowing that his parents are second-class citizens in their own country.”
After working days to deny that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said something patently racist, the media realized the story wouldn't die, and have now begun looking for fresh angles that can mitigate the damage.
On Wednesday, CNN.com fell back on a favorite strategy of claiming that even though it was a racist remark, it shouldn't be surprising because everybody does it. Writer Wayne Drash trotted out research from a race-obsessed professor to prove that most white people routinely make racist comments whenever minorities aren't around.
Drash kicked off his report with the headline "When Talk of Race Goes Behind Closed Doors." Having no time for pretense, he threw out a bomb in the first sentence and commenced with sharp accusations against white Americans:
CNN’s Jack Cafferty highlighted the research of “some scientists [who] insist the earth is entering a cooling trend” in a commentary on CNN.com. Cafferty detailed the harsh winter weather in the northern hemisphere over the past weeks, and noted that the research “could undermine...what we’ve been told about the warming of the Earth being caused only by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.”
The editorial on CNN’s website would have been read by the commentator during his usual 6 pm Eastern hour “Cafferty File” segment on The Situation Room, but it was preempted by CNN’s wall-to-wall coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, specifically Wolf Blitzer’s interview of former President Bill Clinton on the disaster. After noting the unusually cold weather and describing its adverse effects internationally, Cafferty summarized the findings of the scientists, that “this winter is only the start of a worldwide trend toward cooler weather, which could last for 20 to 30 years.”
CNN's efforts to spin the current economy have gotten to the point of being ridiculous.
For three days in a row, a series of reports all showed persistent layoffs above expectations, and in each case CNN.com inexplicably reported optimism.
First up was an ADP report released Wednesday which tracked the economy from the side of business owners and how many workers they laid off. Instead of showing the complete picture, CNN chose to present a decidedly upbeat angle.
CNN Money writers Jessica Dickler and Hibah Yousuf set the tone as they worked hard to spin unexpected layoffs as a positive sign in their rosy-headlined "Job Picture Gets a Little Bit Brighter":
As has been noted here in the recent past, it isn't just government entities that are a little slow on the uptake when it comes to identifying radical Muslim preachers as accessories to terrorism - it's also the media. Consider the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, a man who has consistently shown ties to terrorist attacks, yet who had gone predominantly under the media radar as nothing more than a simple cleric.
Also consider the curious case of one Yasir Qadhi, a man recently interviewed by CNN for a sympathetic look at the failed underwear bomber, Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab. A man who has apparently escaped background investigations by both CNN and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). (H/t the Jawa Report)
How else to explain CNN's representation of Qadhi as a simple, orthodox teacher of Islam, who had no idea of the extremist views of AbdulMutallab? And how else to explain the baffling decision by the NCTC to utilize Qadhi in its deradicalization efforts?
What, you might ask, is wrong with presenting this man as a moderate teacher of ‘the nuts and bolts of Islam?'
Well, for starters, he is - by his own admission - a proud member of the U.S. terror watch list, and an instructor at an institution so extreme in their teachings, that an anti-terror consultant once dubbed the school ‘Jihad U.'
Find out more about the man CNN presents as an innocent professor of Islam after the break...
Studio executives might want to make a New Year's resolution to show less skin in their movies.
A December 29 CNN article reported that a recent study found that "sex and nudity failed to positively affect a film's popularity among viewers or critics and did not guarantee big box office receipts."
"Sex Doesn't Sell -- nor Impress! Content, Box Office, Critics, and Awards in Mainstream Cinema" was published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts last month. A Nexis search revealed that ABC, CBS and NBC have not covered this study since its publication.
Researchers analyzed the content of more than 900 films released between 2001 and 2005.
"The top-grossing films in the study included movies like ‘Shrek 2;' ‘Spider-Man;' ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith' and ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,' all of which contained mostly minor to mild sex and/or nudity," reported CNN.
CNN political contributor Roland Martin opined on Friday that since President Obama has been in the White House for almost a year, his default line of blaming George Bush for an inherited mess will soon stop working.
In a strange bout of liberal acknowledgement, Martin conceded that Barack Obama "rode into office on the 'blame Bush' tidal wave" that had become "the Democrats' most famous fallback position."
How convenient Martin waited more than a year to say this in public. If he'd done his job and called out Democrats for using excuses right from the start, he wouldn't have to spend a whole column admitting it now.
The impetus for this revealing piece was Martin being displeased with Obama's new policy in Afghanistan. After spending much of his recent career being an Obama apologist, Martin found himself unable to support the troop surge. The result was a warning that Obama's allies would not be able to blame everything on Bush:
CNN.com's coverage of the failed gay marriage bill in the state of New York was predictably slated against conservatives on the issue.
The article cited liberals against conservatives 4-to-1 and included an unchallenged quote that most states banning gay marriage "at one time or another sold blacks into slavery."
The piece came on the heels of a vote in the New York Senate Wednesday over a bill that would have granted marriages to gay couples. Eight Democrats defected from their liberal peers to kill the bill, 38-24.
CNN spent the first four paragraphs of the article commiserating with a disappointed Governor Paterson and offering reassurance to gay activists that the bill was not really dead:
A "new consensus" has emerged on the success of the economic stimulus package, according to a New York Times headline. In touting the supposed success of the legislation, and hinting at support for another round of spending, the Times neglected to mention the widespread fraud that characterizes the administration's attempt at shoring up the economy.
As reported by P.J. Gladnick on Saturday, the Times made sure to attribute its claims to "dispassionate analysts," and asserted that the stimulus is "helping an economy in free fall a year ago to grow again and shed fewer jobs than it otherwise would." Gladnick thoroughly debunked this claim, and others, in his NB post.
In a further show of bias, the Times article makes no mention of the 76,779 jobs that were not actually "saved or created" by the package, but were added to the number touted by the administration (interactive map embedded below the fold - h/t Examiner's Freddoso, Spiering, and Hemingway). Given that this number is roughly 12 percent of the 640,000 jobs the administration claims to have "saved or created," it might merit a mention in the Times's story.
An unsigned CNN.com article on Friday noted that the Senate Ethics Committee had reproved Senator Roland Burris “for actions and statements reflecting unfavorably upon the Senate,” but did not directly mention the Illinois senator’s affiliation with the Democratic Party. The article did mention that Burris was “the only African-American U.S. senator.”
The first two paragraphs from the CNN Political Ticker story excerpted the letter that the Senate committee sent to the successor to President Obama: “The Senate Ethics Committee issued a letter Friday admonishing embattled Illinois Sen. Roland Burris ‘for actions and statements reflecting unfavorably upon the Senate’ in connection with his controversial appointment by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. ‘While the committee did not find that the evidence before it supported any actionable violations of law, senators must meet a much higher standard of conduct,’ the letter stated.”
In case you missed the media coverage of the Fort Hood shooting for the last several days, let's sum up the main theme: Nidal Malik Hasan is not a terrorist.
CNN continued that theme early Thursday morning with an interview from a profiler who claims that Hasan is nothing more than a lonely, wifeless, psychopath in the midst of a midlife crisis.
Criminologist Pat Brown states that:
"He was simply a lone guy who had issues, problems, psychopathic behaviors that escalated to the point where he wanted to get back at society, and he took it out on his workmates like most of them do."
What does Brown base that assessment on? During a correspondence with her (outlined in full at the end of this post), CNN's profiler of choice had very little to say about the radical Muslim ideology in the Hasan case. You'll be amazed at what follows:
CNN misquoted a soldier at Fort Hood who was wounded in last week's shooting to suggest that the soldier's recollection that Major Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar" before firing was in doubt. Many in the media have been doing their best to downplay evidence suggesting Hasan was acting in accordance with radical Muslim beliefs.
"I was sitting in about the second row back when the assailant stood up and yelled 'Allahu Akbar' in Arabic and he opened fire," Pvt. Joseph Foster recalled yesterday on CNN's "American Morning" (Video below the fold - h/t Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit).
The Obama administration continues to push its "jobs created and saved" theme, taking credit for up to a million jobs on account of its $787 billion economic stimulus package (roughly a quarter of which has been spent). But some in the media remain skeptical.
Politico.com announced on Oct. 30 that White House officials planned a Friday afternoon announcement for the same day claiming "at least 1 million jobs" had been saved or created.
Other news outlets, including NPR and CNN, focused on a lower White House claim the same day saying that "more than 650,000 jobs have been saved or created" under the stimulus.
The higher claim of 1 million was based on extrapolation - the White House report examined the first $150 billion of $339 billion stimulus funds spent so far.
Mark Preston at CNN's Political Ticker reports there's a major Hollywood contingent judging a Health Reform Video Challenge contest for the Democratic Party's Organizing for American campaign. (See today's Open Thread for one flag-mangling contestant.)
Stars on the judging panel for the final 20 TV ads include John Cho ("Flash Forward"), Rosario Dawson ("Men in Black"), Dule Hill ("The West Wing"), Brandon Routh (who played Superman), Kate Walsh ("Private Practice"), Olivia Wilde ("House") and musician Will I. Am of the Black Eyed Peas.
But the most risky name is Seth MacFarlane, the abrasive atheist creator of the Fox cartoons "Family Guy," "American Dad," and "The Cleveland Show."
The harshest ad in the contest features grade-school kids talking about how they'll suffer (and even die) because health care is denied:
BOY: A year from now, I’ll break my leg and my parents will have to sell our house because we couldn’t afford health care
GIRL: Three months from now, I’ll need surgery, and my parents will go bankrupt because they couldn’t afford health care.
Remember the Cash for Clunkers (CARS) program the network media liked so much? Well, according to analysis from Edmunds.com the government spent $24,000 per car when you subtract cars that would have been sold even without the program.
CNNMoney.com reported Oct. 29 that only 125,000 vehicles sold under the program (out of 690,000) "would not have been sold anyway," according to Edmunds.
The government allotted $3 billion for the CARS program, but Edmunds' said that more than 80 percent of those cars would have been purchased anyway.
Despite misgivings from Anwyl and others, the network news media embraced the government giveaway. All three networks described it as a "victim of its own success" AFTER it ran out of taxpayer funding in its first week.
Violence against women has increased on TV programs, according to a new study by the Parents Television Council.
"Women in Peril: A Look at TV's Disturbing New Storyline Trend" found that incidents of violence against women and teenage girls increased 120 percent on television in the in the past five years, while overall violence on primetime broadcast entertainment programs increased only 2 percent in the same time period. Violent incidents against teen girls on television programs increased 400 percent since 2004.
Joy Behar, HLN's conservative-basher of record, today derided conservatives as immature bullies who smell bad and pick their noses. Obama, by Behar's account is the smart kid in class who knows all the answers but keeps letting the bullies push him around.
Her bully characterization is astoundingly hypocritical, given that she goes on to suggest that Obama bully Glenn Beck and other conservative commentators into silence. And the President hardly seems like the kid on the playground "least likely to fight back." He certainly has the means, and has been using his pulpit to deride Fox News for the past two weeks for saying things that he doesn't like.
In the schoolyard of American politics, President Obama is the big, smart kid with all of the test answers who's being bullied by a bunch of Neanderthal ankle-biters from all sides.