Corrected from earlier | Just when you thought the whole Wendy Davis obsession was dying down, Vogue has up and done a puffy profile of the Texas state senator and abortion rights absolutist for its September issue. Now, I know you're tempted to run out to the newsstand and snatch up a copy, but apparently the Daily Beast's Erin Cunningham did America a favor with a blog post today about the "13 Things You Didn't Know About Wendy Davis."
"From her love of Victoria Beckham to her teenage rebellious phase [here are]13 things we learned from Vogue’s September-issue profile of Wendy Davis," the subheader for Erin Cunningham's August 15 post gushed. Predictably full of pablum and puffery, Cunningham closed her short piece on a absurdly trite note:
You knew the warm fuzzies for Pope Francis couldn't last that long. While the media initially went gaga over Pope Francis, hoping beyond hope he was some liberal reformer who would open up the Catholic Church to all kinds of heterodoxy, the reality is slowly setting in. The first-ever Latin American pontiff is warm, genial, charismatic, and an excellent communicator with both the public and the press, but he's solidly conservative in doctrine, particularly the issue of biggest concern for the liberal media: sexual ethics.
The other day, it was TIME's Tim Padgett, blasting the pope over the Church's teaching on homosexuality. Today it's Vanity Fair contributing editor Janine di Giovanni, who penned an attack on Francis in a "world news" feature at the Daily Beast that was not tagged as commentary and headlined, "What About Women, Pope Francis?" Out of the gate, di Giovanni went after the bishop of Rome (emphasis mine):
[Excerpted fromCollusion, by Brent Bozell and Tim Graham]
The media's sneakiest dirty trick in the book is bias by omission, because is is so hard to find, when journalists decide "what the people don't know won't hurt them," or more precisely, "what the people don't know won't hurt our candidate."
In Barack Obama's case this omission emerged in 2012 over his biographical narrative: his 1995 memoir Dreams From My Father, which became a huge bestseller as he prepared to run for president, and enriched him with an estimated $1.3 million in royalties (not to mention almost $4 million for his campaign book The Audacity of Hope), and that's just through 2007.
CBS’s Bob Schieffer was clearly uncomfortable Sunday when two of his perilously liberal guestsclaimed there are many gay priests.
At the end of a Face the Nation discussion about the pending selection of a new Pope, Schieffer pushed back when the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn brought up homosexuality in the priesthood, and then he cut quickly to a commercial when Vanity Fair’s Carl Bernstein supported her contention (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On CNN this morning, in a quote captured by Rush Limbaugh on his program today (but predictably ignored by David Edwards covering the broadcast at Raw Story), Carol Costello told viewers that "no one is talking about overturning the Second Amendment or confiscating guns in America."
Wow. What hermetically sealed cave have you been living in during the past few weeks, Carol -- or for that matter, as Limbaugh effectively asked, where have you been during the past 4-1/2 decades? Here's some of what Rush had to say in response (bolds are mine):
Promoting his fawning profile of President Obama for the October issue of Vanity Fair on Tuesday's NBC Today, contributing editor Michael Lewis described a game of basketball he played with the commander in chief: "...it was actually very revealing...he doesn't let anybody treat him like the president. If you're watching the game, you'd have no idea who – which one is the president...he likes a really challenging environment...it's a relationship among equals." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The gushing from Lewis was prompted by co-host Matt Lauer wondering: "What did you see about the way he [Obama] handles himself on the court that sheds some light on his personality and how he might handle himself in the job?" Lewis observed: "...he's effective on the court, he's a good basketball player – but he plays a game that seems very risk averse....But then all of a sudden, when there's a risk to take, it's boom. He's got the personality of a sniper."
About a month ago, I joked in a column published elsewhere that the reason a certain New York Times column didn't resonate with anyone is because no one pays attention to the Old Gray Lady any more.
Unfortunately, that's not true. But the fact that almost no other establishment press outlet has mentioned the paper's disclosure late Wednesday (appearing in Thursday's print edition) that former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine and others at the bankrupt firm likely won't face criminal prosecution in the firm's crack-up, which featured raiding individual customers' accounts to the tune of $1.6 billion, seems to indicate that the Times has become a favored holding cell for stories detrimental to Democrats which will otherwise be ignored. Oh, and contrary to the belief expressed in a very long Vanity Fair item in February, when Corzine was seen to be in "a scandal he can’t survive," and that "his career is likely finished," the man is seriously considering starting up a new hedge fund.
As the November election approaches, the left-leaning media is taking every opportunity to take shots at presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and Vanity Fair is no exception. In the magazine's August issue, journalist Nicholas Shaxson attempts to mar the public perception of Romney's business record and moral center under the guise of "[delving] into the murky world of offshore finance."
Shaxson starts with the supposed experiences of an unnamed source, known only as, "a person who worked for Mitt Romney at Bain Capital" who claims that Romney urged him to lie about his identity in order to find out secret revenue and sales data on its client's companies for Bain's financial gain. Shaxson then fast-forwards to this year's Republican primary contests and claims that Romney only released details about his finances after "other Republican candidates forced him to do so" and that "only highly selective disclosures were forthcoming."
While protesters only began shouting "We are the 99 Percent," a few months ago, the class warfare sentiment that the top 1 percent and the 99 percent are at odds is not a recent phenomenon. It was a claim made in media appearances before the first protests began in Zuccotti Park.
In a Democracy Now! video of Occupy protests in October 2011, a doctor, nurse and others complained about income inequality, the lack of fairness and claimed that "never" had "this much wealth been concentrated in so few hands." But before that, PBS, Vanity Fair magazine, The New York Times and other media outlets had all used left-wing class warfare messaging to criticize the amount of wealth held by the top 1 percent or the problem of "rising" income inequality.
Maybe Princeton professor Cornel West should redirect his get off the crack pipe suggestion to MSNBC's Chris Matthews.
On Monday's Hardball, the host actually said with a straight face that John F. Kennedy is "the American president we Americans most want to see joining Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt up there on Mount Rushmore (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Liberal bias is rampant among the media, but there is no more tangible example of it than in how the media treat Conservative women. The most recent cover of Newsweek features a very wide-eyed Michele Bachmann, looking surprised and unattractive. Perhaps more disturbing is the caption Newsweek placed below the presidential candidate's photo: "Queen of Rage."
Bachmann, an attractive 55 year-old mother of five, is a three term member of the House of Representatives, constitutional conservative and prominent voice of the Tea Party movement. But if you get your information from liberals or the mainstream media, you might know her as 'crazy,' a "zombie" a"phony-ass broad" and a "skank."
When, in a recent New York Times interview, Comedian Chelsea Handler expressed disgust with the MTV show "16 and Pregnant," pro-lifers (and fans of traditional morality) might have had reason to hope. "Getting rewarded for being pregnant when you're a teenager?" she fumed, "Are you serious? I mean, that makes me want to kill somebody."
Unfortunately, that somebody is a fetus. She went on to speak proudly of her own experience. "I had an abortion when I was 16," she stated. "Because that's what I should have done. Otherwise I would now have a 20-year-old kid. Anyway, those are things that people shouldn't be dishonest about it."
On MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." Tuesday, liberal journalist Carl Bernstein criticized the continued stance of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) against the right of public unions to collectively bargain. The liberal Watergate journalistic "legend" labeled the governor's efforts as "ahistorical" and "demagogic."
When the governor cut into benefits and pensions of state employees to solve a budget shortfall, union members and supporters of their cause took to the streets of the state capital. Later they were willing to compromise on the amount they had to pay for their benefits, but they demanded to keep their collective bargaining ability. The governor was not willing to cut that deal.
Bernstein said Gov. Walker's move went beyond his own prudence, calling it a "very political, demagogic move by a governor who knows that the Democratic Party subsists to some extent on union contributions." He even called out conservatives for making too many issues into partisan battles.
For someone who deals in illicit information, Julian Assange sure gets touchy when people share information against his will.
Last month the Times of London revealed that the Wikileaks proprietor was furious at a reporter for the UK Guardian who had published details of a police report concerning sexual assault allegations against Assange. His objection: they were private communications and the reporter "selectively publish[ed]" them.
Now Assange is upset that the Guardian would publish some of the leaked cables without the permission of Wikileaks (ironically, the info had apparently beenleaked by a Wikileaker!). According to Vanity Fair, "he owned the information and had a financial interest in how and when it was released."
Vanity Fair’s attacked conservative men with its latest political satire: a soft-core pornographic, borderline homosexual and obviously photoshopped “Official 2010-2011 Republican Beefcake Calendar.” Humorous perhaps, but also an attack on those candidates and certainly not the magazine’sfirst jab at Republicans and conservatives.
In an effort to possibly shift “GOP tidal-wave” dialogue or to simply make depressed Democrats laugh, Vanity Fair has showcased a racy, crotch-shot-laden calendar of headline-making GOP men just one week prior to the important 2010 midterm elections. While only a few of the photographs actually improve the image of the Republican men, by making them look extremely masculine with rippling muscles, most of the photos mock the men by photo-shopping their heads onto men in arguably “gay” poses.
Vanity Fair writer Michael Joseph Gross has already admitted to one error in his profile of Sarah Palin, but the contradictions and controversies surrounding his hit piece continue to stack up.
In a Sept. 7 post on The Corner, Katrina Trinko "refudiated" Gross's characterization of Palin as vicious, vengeful, and fake. Unlike Gross's sources, almost all of which were anonymous, Trinko provided citations.
Gross had cited "people who know" suggesting Palin's relationship with close friends Kristan Cole and Kris Perry had "deteriorated." But Cole reportedly told Trinko the charge was "absolutely not true. I don't know where they get this stuff from, honestly."
A former Palin aide, Ivy Frye, also contradicted Gross's characterization that she parted ways with Palin "on bad terms." "I didn't leave on ‘bad terms,'" she said in a statement. "Gross' 8 page hit piece is a complete work of fiction from beginning to end."
The lengths liberals will go to trash Sarah Palin knows no bounds.
On Friday, the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus actually accused the former Alaska governor of being homophobic for calling reporters "limp" and "impotent."
As NewsBusters reported Thursday, Palin, while on Sean Hannity's radio program the day before, bashed "impotent, limp and gutless reporters [that] take anonymous sources and cite them as being factual references."
For almost two years, Sarah Palin has been complaining about media members making things up about her.
On Friday, one finally admitted it.
As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, Vanity Fair's October issue has a hit piece on its cover about the former Alaska governor that Palin-hating press members have been predictably fawning and gushing over.
Now, the Associated Press is reporting that the author, Michael Joseph Gross, has admitted making a mistake in his piece:
On Thursday's CBS Early Show, fill-in co-host Erica Hill interviewed Vanity Fair reporter Michael Joseph Gross about his article slamming Sarah Palin with outlandish accusations: "...we've watched Sarah Palin go from a small town hockey mom and the mayor to international celebrity....it certainly changed her, that's according to a rather unflattering new article in Vanity Fair magazine. "
Talking to Gross, Hill noted how he "had a tough time...getting to people who are close to Sarah Palin," but wondered: "...tell us about the people you did speak to who are around her....What kind of an impression did they give you of Sarah Palin?" Gross detailed some of the wild claims made by his questionable sources: "They'd tell stories about screaming fits, about throwing things....where Sarah and Todd will empty the pantry of canned goods, throwing them at each other until the front of the refrigerator looks like it's been shot up by a shot gun." Taken in by the story, Hill simply replied: "Wow."
Gross continued, alleging that Palin "tortured" former assistants, one of whom "had to quit the job, seek psychiatric counseling, and leave the state to escape Palin's influence." He asserted: "...[Palin] exacts retribution on people after they leave. They're afraid that she's going to get them fired from their job, try to ruin their reputations. That's the modus operandi." Earlier in the interview, he described Palin's current political activity as an effort to exact "a kind of vengeance on the country for rejecting her" in the 2008 election.
The author of a 10,600-word Vanity Fair hit piece on Sarah Palin is defending his work, claiming he set out to defend the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, but that the resulting article "was forced on me by the facts."
Michael Gross appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Sept. 2 to discuss his article in the October issue of Vanity Fair. The piece depicts Palin as a volatile, vengeful, mean-spirited figure, although Gross only managed to find one person willing to speak critically of Palin on the record.
"The worst stuff isn't even in there," Gross said on "Morning Joe" when asked about the extreme picture he paints of Palin. "You know, I couldn't believe these stories either when I first heard them and I started the story with the prejudice in her favor. I have a lot in common with this woman. I'm a small town person, I'm a Christian. I think that a lot of her criticisms of the media actually have something to them and I figured she'd gotten a bum ride but everybody close to her tells the same story."
Yet for someone so supposedly enamored with Palin, Gross sure turned quickly. He said Palin is "a person for whom there is no topic too small to lie about," citing a speech in Wichita in which Palin contradicted other statements she'd made about finding out her son, Trig, would have special needs.
Another day, another media hit piece aimed at Sarah Palin. Surprise, surprise.
A 10,600-word article in the October issue of Vanity Fair reads like the rambling diaries of a spurned middle school student. Writer Michael Joseph Gross ran through a list of ill-sourced, hearsay attacks on Palin designed to depict her as a raging psychopath - a far cry from the down-to-earth "hockey mom" she portrays in public.
But in more than 10,600 words, Gross managed to cite just one person to criticize Palin on the record. Colleen Cottle, who served on the Wasilla City Council when Palin was mayor, complained that she "had no attention span" and "does not understand math or accounting." Heavy-hitting stuff, that.
None of the others Gross apparently interviewed were named, he said, "because they are loyal and want to protect her (a small and shrinking number), or because they expect her prominence to grow and intend to keep their options open, or because they fear she will exact revenge, as she has been known to do."
On the heels of a new College Board report that the United States is struggling to compete with other countries when it comes to college completion rates, Vanity Fair's resident straight talker, Henry Rollins, has figured out the problem. The education system isn't struggling because of possible factors contained within the report, such as:
Inadequate funding of preschool programs
Poor college counseling programs for middle and high school aged children
High school dropout rates
A lack of international standardization for curriculum
Skyrocketing costs of education
No, Henry has stumbled onto the real, super secret reason why students are failing to finish their college work: Sarah Palin and George Bush.
To be accurate, it's not so much the direct fault of Palin and Bush - rather, it is those of you who support them, their stupid comments, and their intellectually uninterested ways. Their fans see them as real people and because of that, they feel comfort in an unchallenging environment.
Rollins explains why ‘America doesn't seem to value a college education the way it used to':
Vanity Fair's national editor Todd Purdum has a long piece in the most recent issue (in the print edition only, as far as I can tell) bemoaning what he argues are the new and unique challenges facing the Obama administration, including the state of the news media. Purdum's opinions on the state of the news business boil down to a call for the press's continuing political uniformity.
He offers a quote from White House adviser Valerie Jarrett that also captures the author's opinions on the issue. Purdum writes:
Obama's senior adviser Valerie Jarrett looks back wistfully to a time when credible people could put a stamp of reliability on information and opinion: "Walter Cronkite would get on and say the truth, and people believed the media," she says. Today, no single media figure or outlet has that power to end debate, and in pursuit of "objectivity," most honest news outlets draw the line at saying flatly that something or other is untrue, even when it plainly is.
Purdum's and Jarrett's statements are comprised of one part revisionist nostalgia, and one part liberal elitism. "Objectivity" was never really present. What they're longing for is the reliable white-collar liberalism of the 20th century news media.
In a textbook case of liberal-hysteria, Henry Rollins and Vanity Fair fear the Texas Board of Education will wipe Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Charles Darwin, the Civil Rights movement, and even the outcome of the Civil War from the pages of history in the "Great Texan Rewrite."
At question is a recent victory by conservatives on the Texas Board of Education to adopt more traditional curricula to be used in writing history textbooks. Due to its size, books adopted by Texas tend to be used extensively throughout the nation.
To Rollins, any attempt to restore balance to the teaching of history is an attempt to turn back the clock.
"I fear for the New Deal reforms and any other bits of history that may somehow be seen as inconvenient truths to the architects of the Great Texan Rewrite," Rollins wrote. "I cringe when I think that the Civil Rights movement may magically vanish from the state's history or be seen as an uppity peasant uprising. What will become of the Emancipation Proclamation? The outcome of the Civil War?"
Oliver Stone's latest attack on American capitalism - "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is finally hitting theaters April 2010, twenty-three years after its predecessor. According to Michael Lewis, who interviewed the moviemaker for his latest Vanity Fair piece, Stone's biggest problem with the sequel was making a movie based on helplessly diabolical bankers, actually watchable.
Lewis wrote that Stone - an ardent left-wing ideologue, friendly acquaintance to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, a moral relativist concerning Hitler and Stalin, and director of "W" and "Platoon" - felt an obligation to reverse the societal damage and unintended consequences of the first installment.
"As a vehicle of change ... the movie was a catastrophe," Lewis wrote. It apparently inspired, rather than deterred, a generation of young men to enter the field and become the next Gordon Gekko (the "diabolical money manager" played by Michael Douglas).
According to Vanity Fair's Matt Pressman, President Obama's plummeting approval rate isn't just affecting the Oval Office, it has liberal magazines suffering and conservative titles flourishing. "Hate sells," Pressman wrote in his Feb. 23 article, and, with fewer Americans approving of the President, conservative magazines have enjoyed a "boost from the anti-government, tea-party led fervor."
"The most prominent and biggest-selling [conservative magazine], The National Review, definitely seemed to experience an Obama-hatred bump in 2009," Pressman said.