A month ago, I noted that the establishment press has ignored an especially pernicious program undertaken by Eric Holder's Department of Justice and the Obama administration's regulatory apparatus, namely Operation Choke Point.
On Thursday, a strong 321-87 bipartisan majority of the House passed H.R. 4660, the "Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (of) 2015." Among its provisions: "Sec. 554. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to carry out Operation Choke Point." The final bill's supporters included 204 Republicans and 117 Democrats. The establishment press has ignored the vote. Excerpts from Kelly Riddell's Friday coverage at the Washington Times follows the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
When several members of Congress set out in the early 1990s to improve fiscal reporting and internal controls in the federal government, one thing they certainly had a right to expect is that the press would report on lapses as embarrassments, and that otherwise nonchalant or reluctant bureaucrats would figure out that it would be in their best interest to tighten their ships. It hasn't happened, largely because the press quickly got bored, enabling the bureaucrats to thumb their noses at those who called them out for weak reporting or control violations.
To name just one glaring example: Concerning the Internal Revenue Service, in August of last year, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration happily reported "the downgrade of the information security material weakness to a significant deficiency during the Fiscal Year 2012 financial statement audit," and that "the IRS removed it from the December 31, 2012, remediation plan" (that's bureaucratese for "finally solved the problem") — 19 years after it was first identified in 1993. In that context, let's look at an outrageous situation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Based on searches at their respective sites at 9:40 a.m. ET this morning, the Associated Press, the New York Times and the Politico do not have stories on the fever-swamp left's two-days-old attempts to force storage company DropBox to reverse its appointment of Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors.
The three outlets just cited, and the rest of the national establishment press, with the as usual notable exception of Fox News (in an opinion piece by Richard Grenell) and the unusual exception of UPI.com, appears to be following what I'll call the "hand-wringing template": Ignore the story until the left gets its dirty work done, and then file a timid story noting how the now-settled matter "raises free-speech issues." This is how a passive-aggressive mission is accomplished.
Several weeks ago, MRC-TV's Dan Joseph visited the Democratic Party's winter meeting to see if attendees could name a single tangible of Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. They couldn't. It turns out that Hillary Clinton herself can't even do that.
Remember how Texas Governor Rick Perry was mercilessly ridiculed in the press for his 2011 debate brain cramp when he couldn't identify the third of three federal government agencies he would eliminate? At the Women of the World Summit in New York City on Thursday — an event held at, of all places, the David H. Koch Theater (you can't make this stuff up) — Mrs. Clinton rambled on and on in a response to a question about what she was most proud of in looking at her time as Secretary of State, but never identified even one specific accomplishment (HT Capitol City Project):
In another development most of the establishment press, with the usual exception of Fox News and the unusual exception of Reuters, has thus far predictably ignored, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced on Friday the indictment of University of California-Santa Barbara Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young on charges of "theft from a person, battery, and vandalism." The case's first hearing is scheduled for April 4.
To bring those who didn't see your truly's Monday post up to speed: "As seen in a video at the YouTube site of the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust (warning: profanity), a UCSB assistant professor (MIller-Young) took a sign away from a participant in a campus pro-life outreach effort. Flanked by two students, she took the sign back to her office and destroyed it." Excerpts from the Reuters report by Laila Kearney follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Did you catch the story about the pro-abortion demonstration at the religious college where a pro-life professor grabbed a protester's sign and destroyed it? Of course not, because there's no such story. If it had happened, it would be news, and garner significant attention.
The same thing happened earlier this month at the University of California-Santa Barbara — if you switch the players. As seen in a video at the YouTube site of the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust (warning: profanity), a UCSB associate professor took a sign away from a participant in a campus pro-life outreach effort. Flanked by two students, she took the sign back to her office and destroyed it. Now feminist studies Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young "is facing vandalism, battery, and robbery charges." The UCSB incident has, as far as I can tell, despite the prof's utter lack of contrition, has gone virtually uncovered by the establishment press. The related police report follows the jump:
Separately, left-leaning law professor Jonathan Turley warned a Congressional committee on Wednesday that President Obama's extensive use of executive orders, executive actions, and unilateral regulatory moves threatens to enable the President, as Turley phrased it in a Fox News interview on Thursday, to "effectively become a government unto himself." If Turley had made his statement in 2006 or 2007 during the Iraq War, it would almost certainly have become a media obsession. Instead, as will be shown after the jump, Turley's testimony is being completely ignored by everyone except center-right news outlets and bloggers.
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):
With rapidly rising debt and an unprecedented credit downgrade, Puerto Rico is facing a looming default with terrifying implications on American bond markets, though you would never know about it watching broadcast news.
The leading credit rating firm Standard & Poor’s Rating services downgraded Puerto Rican debt to “junk” status on Feb. 5, with further downgrades likely. Despite Puerto Rico having more than three times as much debt as Detroit did before bankruptcy, the broadcast networks paid no attention to this looming crisis in the six months before Feb. 1, 2014.
Puerto Rico, with $70 billion in debt and 14.7 percent unemployment, edges closer to a default. Regardless, ABC, CBS and NBC did not air a single story covering this crisis between Aug. 1, 2013 and Feb. 1, 2014.
On Thursday, Stephanie Condon at CBS News reported ("Security chief: HealthCare.gov has passed security testing") that Teresa Fryer, who had recommended against allowing HealthCare.gov going live before its October launch but was overruled, "told Congress ... that the Obamacare website passed security testing in December, and she would recommend that its official Authority to Operate (ATO) be extended when the current ATO expires in March."
On Friday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, in an otherwise keister-covering dispatch apparently designed to show that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was really, really unaware of the web site's prelaunch security problems, claimed without qualification that "There have been no successful attacks on the site" — even though by law the government "need never notify customers that their personal information has been hacked or possibly compromised."
This morning, Bob Filner (D) was sentenced to "90 days home confinement as punishment for three criminal charges connected to the sexual harassment scandal that ended his term as San Diego mayor," according to NBCSanDiego.com staffers Monica Garske and R. Stickney, who failed to mention Filner's Democratic Party affiliation in their story.
But Garske and Stickney are not alone among their peers in omitting Filner's party affiliation. Besides NBCNews.com -- which linked to the aforementioned NBC San Diego story -- ABCNews.com, and CNN.com all similarly left out reference to the California Democrat's party allegiance. CBSNews.com and FoxNews.com ran an Associated Press story which mentioned Filner's political persuasion in the final paragraph. MSNBC.com also omitted the Democratic label from their story, although, curiously, the story was filed under a "Democrats" topic tag (see screen capture below):
Tuesday evening (noted by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters early Wednesday morning), CNN's Drew Griffin reported on Anderson Cooper's show that there is a "behind the scenes attempt by the White House to at least keep insurers from publicly criticizing what is happening under this Affordable Care Act rollout."
Such a report occurring during a Republican or conservative administration would spread like wildfire. Sadly and predictably, that hasn't happened with CNN's bombshell. Using search strings which should have surfaced relevant results if present, I couldn't find anything on the topic at the Associated Press, New York Times, the Politco, or Washington Post.
Hollie McKay at Foxnews.com reports on political correctness breaking out at leftist Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. The Afrobeat band Shokazoba was removed from the "Hampshire Halloween" lineup after activists expressed "discomfort" about the band not being black enough. They used lingo about "cultural appropriation" and disrespecting "marginalized cultures."
According to the band’s keyboard player Jason Moses, they were booked for the Hampshire Halloween bash on October 7, but last Friday – the day of the party – were dumped by the event organizers after comments were posted on the event's Facebook page disparaging the music group because they weren’t black.
Fox News has coverage today of the guilty plea of Jeffrey Garcia, a former congressional chief of staff who "pled guilty Monday to one felony charge and three misdemeanor charges after admitting he illegally requested hundreds of absentee ballots while he was running the campaign for Rep. Joe Garcia, who he is not related to."
The Fox story indicates that the Associated Press contributed to its report. That's odd, because a search on "Garcia absentee" (not in quotes) at the AP's national site done at 11:30 a.m. ET came up empty. That's because AP has from all appearances treated Garcia's plea and sentencing as a Florida story unworthy of national notice, despite the fact that the gaming the electoral system and allegations of voter suppression have been a national discussion topic for years. The one unbylined AP story I did find was also ridiculously sympathetic to Jeffrey:
On Wednesday at CBSnews.com, Sharyl Attkisson reported that "Three more weapons from Fast and Furious have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico."
A Google News search at 10 a.m. on ["Fast and Furious" guns] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets, past 7 days, sorted by date, with duplicates) returned 26 relevant items. Very few (to be noted later) are from establishment press outlets.
In a "How can he possibly top this?" move, Eric Holder's Justice Department "is trolling for email tips on the former neighborhood watch volunteer (George Zimmerman) as it weighs a possible federal civil rights case against him."
What other establishment press outlets besides Fox News will cover this? And if they do, which of them (if any) will note the mountain of exculpatory evidence about Zimmerman? First, excerpts from Fox's report by Jake Gibson, followed by the accumulated evidence that Zimmerman more than likely hasn't a racist bone in his body (HT to a frequent tipster, who saw coverage of this on a Fox show earlier today; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Not that it absolves them from blame, but one contributor to the Big Three establishment TV networks' utter failure to report on or keep up with developments in the IRS targeting scandal -- failures which have been noted by Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters, as well as by the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell on Sean Hannity's TV show last night -- is the Associated Press.
The AP provides much of the raw material for the networks' stories and largely determines the nets' perception as to which stories are important. It is still quite appropriate to refer to it as the Administration's Press, even after Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to scouring phone records involving 20 business and personal lines used by over 100 AP reporters and editors in April and May of last year. Yesterday's failure by the wire service's Pete Yost to even mention that the IRS scandal was on the agenda at a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday involving FBI Director Robert Mueller exemplifies how negligent or intimidated (or both) the AP has become.
A week ago (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I wrote up a post on the Miami Herald's coverage of how the chief of staff of Florida Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia had admittted to attempting to orchestrate "a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests."
I also noted that the story, which broke on Friday, May 31, was "getting very little notice," but that perhaps "the amount and scope of national coverage will increase when the work week starts." Well, the official work week has ended, and there has been almost no coverage anywhere, despite Congressman Garcia's stunning reaction to the news reported in a separate June 1 Herald story (bolds are mine):
NewsBusters readers know Ellen Ratner as the perilously liberal news analyst typically offering the left-wing views on Fox News Watch.
On Thursday, Ratner published an article titled "George W. Bush Has Saved More Lives Than Any American President" that is guaranteed to shock the heck out of you as it angers folks on her side of the aisle:
In a USA Today column Thursday evening, liberal Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers took the establishment press to task for its failure to give more than cursory attention to the trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Life News reminded its readers today that Gosnell "faces 43 criminal counts, including eight counts of murder in the death of one patient, Karnamaya Monger, and seven newborn infants." It excerpted an Associated Press story earlier today which may be a harbinger of a long overdue change in the amount and scope of trial coverage. We'll see.
If there's a change, it may partially be because of sharp criticisms leveled by Powers (links are in original; bolds are mine):
In a column which went up this morning, Fox News Political Analyst Kirsten Powers, whose political positions certainly lean left and is a self-described liberal, ripped into President Obama and his administration for what she correctly characterizes as their "strategy to delegitimize a news organization" -- hers.
Her column is about far more than Obama's recent complaint to the New Republic's Chris Hughes (covered by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters) that "If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you'll see more of them doing it." What Powers recounts is a strategy first employed in 2009 and apparently being revived, now that Obama no longer has to answer to America's voters, to marginalize the only U.S. network which still tries to be fair and balanced (bolds are mine):
On Wednesday, a Fox News dispatch to which the Associated Press contributed reported that House Republicans hope to pass a bill on Wednesday which would "allow the government to keep borrowing through May 18," but that "Democrats have generally reacted coolly to the three-month extension" beyond February 18, when the government is currently expected to hit the ceiling. Despite all of this, Jim Kuhnhenn, AP's White House and politics reporter at its Washington bureau, called the House's move a "retreat," with his Tuesday morning story's headline claiming: "Obama stands his ground." Really (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Many of those who expressed outrage at the publication of a two-county interactive map of pistol permit owners by Gannett's White Plains, New York-based Journal News just before Christmas have raised serious concerns that the paper's action would directly harm law-abiding citizens. Evidence is pouring in that those fears are legitimate.
Fox News, doing something the wire services should have been begun within days of the map's publication, has unsurprisingly found that "Reformed crooks say the New York newspaper ... did a great service – to their old cronies in the burglary trade." Additionally, a Newsday report identifies four concrete examples of negative impact: "Inmates are taunting corrections officers" at an area jail; one of the counties' sheriffs says that it's "hurting law enforcement as a whole"; a Rockland County Democratic legislator who currently doesn't own a gun says "he now fears for his safety" and will get one; and a divorced woman who says her ex-husband tried to strangle her is worried that "now he can find me." Excerpts from the two news reports follow the jump.
Reviewing several dispatches from the past couple of days, the latest news out of Egypt is that Egyptian "President" Mohammed Morsi "is not backing down in the showdown over decrees granting him near-absolute powers," that "clashes between the two camps (Morsi's Islamist supporters and secular opponents) ... left two dead and hundreds injured," and that the country's Muslim Brotherhood-dominated assembly "pushed through the 234-article draft (constitution) in just 21 hours from Thursday into Friday ... (after) Coptic Christians and liberals earlier had walked out."
The draft constitution includes several articles "that rights activists, liberals and Christians fear will lead to restrictions on the rights of women and minorities," and omits "bans on slavery or promises to adhere to international rights treaties." Oh, and I almost forgot: "The Obama administration is declining to criticize Egypt's draft constitution." It's worth identifying at this point several (but by no means all; what follows is surely a small sample) of those who in 2011 reassured the world that Egyptians had nothing to fear if the Brotherhood and Islamists became dominant.
Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren has reached her boiling point after seeing yet another person at MSNBC hurl a gratuitous, objectively false charge of "racism" at Arizona Senator John McCain for having the gall to believe that Susan Rice would not be a good choice to be the next Secretary of State.
In a Friday report at the Associated Press on Friday with a celebratory headline ("2 YEARS AFTER IPO, GM IS PILING UP CASH"), Auto Writer Tom Krisher described bailed-out General Motors as "thriving," but didn't identify one of the important reasons for that characterization.
In paragraphs about the company's profitability and cash stockpile, Krisher failed to note that the company still hasn't paid any U.S. income taxes since emerging from bankruptcy, or why that's the case (bolds are mine throughout this post):
During the past almost seven weeks, the establishment press has dug itself a deep credibility hole thanks to its disgracefully selective, negligent, and politically twisted reporting on the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 and its determined attempt to defend the Obama administration's ever-evolving and contradictory stories about the attack's origins. Along the way, legitimate questions have been raised about the administration's willingness and ability to protect those who serve us overseas.
Now the question is whether the press will let that hole get even deeper now that Jennifer Griffin at Fox News is reporting that the CIA requests for help during that attack were rejected. The first four paragraphs of the "read the whole thing" report follow:
You don't know whether to laugh or cry upon reading the Sunday night shots campaign Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen at Politico took at Mitt Romney and his campaign.
Maybe these guys really believe that the Romney campaign is the one which still desperately needs a "last chance to move the needle in any significant way in the swing states that will decide the election," and that "Obama is slightly better positioned in the states that will dictate the outcome." If they do, my take is that the Romney campaign is playing possum, and the Politico pair, infused with Beltway naiveté and skewed polling data, are gullibly buying it. Several paragraphs from their effort follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner (HT Meredith Jessup at the Blaze) reports that Karen Vaughn, mother of Aaron Vaughn, a member of Navy SEAL Team 6 and one of 30 American servicemen, including 21 other SEAL Team 6 members, killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan three months after the May 1, 2011 execution of Osama bin Laden, says in a video released yesterday by Veterans for a Strong America that the Obama administration "put a target on my son’s back and even on my back" by revealing the SEAL Team unit's identity after the Bin Laden raid.
Actually, as seen here in a September 10 Fox News story, Mrs. Vaughn has been saying this for almost a month, which makes me wonder where Maureen Dowd at the New York Times has been. But first, the specifics from the Vaughns (bolds are mine throughout this post):