At the Politico Wednesday afternoon, Jonathan Topaz covered Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar's sharp criticism of President Barack Obama's failure to visit the nation's southern border, or for that matter any of the detention centers set up for "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (the Department of Homeland Security's term).
The Politico is where many stories the rest of the establishment press would rather not cover go to die; they then appear to say, "Well, the Politico covered it, so we don't have to." During the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 presidencies, the press went with saturation coverage of Republicans who criticized a president from their party. The degree of coverage in Cuellar's situation is quite the opposite, even though, as we shall see, the White House has contacted him in an attempt to convince him to shut up.
In a column supposedly published on Sunday but "updated" on Saturday (I'm not kidding), Collins assessed the aftermath of the Supreme Court's odious Kelo v. New London decision in 2005 in reacting to a lengthy story by Charlotte Allen in the February 10 issue of the Weekly Standard. In the process, he betrayed two erroneous mindsets about the case which I believe are common among members of the establishment press. The first is that it was purely a matter of "conservatives" backing property rights against "liberal interventionism." The second is his contention that the total lack of any development in the contested area in the nearly nine years since the Court's decision "is not that compelling beyond New London."
President Obama nominated Janet Yellen, Fed vice chair, to head the Federal Reserve on Oct. 9. If confirmed, she will take on Ben Bernanke’s role as chairman and be the first woman in that role. Networks lauded her nomination that evening, after having paid little attention to her liberal policies in recent months.
Broadcast network evening and morning shows were giddy at the nomination of Yellen. Her economic experience, intelligence and “working class roots” were all praised the night of her nomination and the following morning.
Most press conferences are very serious affairs, with reporters seeking important information to distribute to the public about a wide variety of issues. That wasn't quite the case on Thursday, when John McCormack of the Weekly Standard magazine asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to explain the moral difference between Dr. Kermit Gosnell's murder of infants born alive and legalized late-term abortion.
Not only did the question anger the California Democrat, it also resulted in laughter from other reporters in the room.
Does the Politico do so little noteworthy original work that it has to make it appear as if it's taking credit for stories it didn't break? It sure looks like it from here.
In a story about President Obama's Organizing For Action organization, the not-for-profit lobbying result after Obama and those running the presidential campaign's Organizing For America chose to become a permanent fixture, Politico's Byron Tau predictably whitewashed the seriousness of OFA's violation of IRS rules against partisan political activity in allowing a supporter of Democrat Terry McAuliffe to recruit signature gatherers for his gubernatorial campaign. Tau also acted as if his web site had gotten the story either first or at the same time as a competitor when he wrote in his second paragraph that "OFA removed the post after it was flagged by POLITICO and the Weekly Standard." Then, in the final sentence of his 11-paragraph entry -- one I guess he hopes nobody will read -- Tau wrote:
It turns out that the Romney campaign was right to claim that Fiat, who owns Chrysler, would be making Jeeps in China instead of America, even though the media disparaged that case at the time with PolitiFact going so far as to declare the ad "Lie of the Year." According to PolitiFact, the campaign falsely implied the jobs would be outsourced, among other claims.
As Reuters reported yesterday, "Fiat (FIA.MI) and its U.S. unit Chrysler expect to roll out at least 100,000 Jeeps in China when production starts in 2014 as they seek to catch up with rivals in the world's biggest car market."
As even the casual reader of NewsBusters is well aware, the MSNBC cable news network is forever on the lookout for racially-tinged "code words" in Republican speeches and "dog whistle" ads by GOP super PACs against Democrats. But the network's keen sense of outrage is conspicuously absent when it comes to attacks by Democratic groups against Mia Love, the African-American Republican Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, who is challenging long-time liberal -- he boasts a lifetime American Conservative Union score of 38.61 out of a possible 100 -- Rep. Jim Matheson (D).
Michael Warren of the Weekly Standard reported on Sept. 28 about a Utah State Democratic Committee mailer than seems to have darkened Love's skin tone. Warren also linked to a Blue Dog Democrat-linked Super PAC ad that falsely charged that Love's record is summed up in the words "skyrocketing crime" [video embedded below page break].
We can forgive Pittsburgh Steelers for avoiding the mention of the name of a certain quarterback who plays for the Denver Broncos in the coming days.
Related forgiveness does not extend to Jesse J. Holland at the Associated Press concerning his coverage of the Supreme Court's u-u-u-unanimous ruling today that religious workers cannot sue for job discrimination. As seen here at a Weekly Standard excerpt, the unanimity of the ruling was in the first sentence of the wire service's initial report. Now look how deep it's buried in the 4:10 p.m. version of Holland's report, and how the AP writer attempted to water down the ruling's significance in the interim (bolds are mine):
Anyone who made the easy prediction that the Associated Press would fail to bring up Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in its fawning tribute to Barney Frank after his retirement announcement yesterday was correct. Anyone making the easy prediction that the AP would lionize him as a "gay pioneer" was also spot-on.
Also predictably, the wire service's Bob Salsberg and David Espo failed to mention that Frank advocated abolishing Fan and Fred as a dishonest survival tactic during his final reelection campaign in 2010, and of course did nothing visible to make that happen this year. What's really odious in this regard is that the AP pair gave him credit (pun intended) for how he "worked to expand affordable housing," when the Community Reinvestment Act-driven subprime crisis Fan and Fred engendered has sent the housing market levels not seen since World War II. What follows are excerpts from the AP. After that I have a few contrary and clear-headed paragraphs from an Investor's Business Daily editorial, and a little reminder of a 1999 "Present" vote which should have generated controversy, but didn't:
On November 15 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I compared how two of the leading wire services, Reuters and the Associated Press, covered the announcement by Geron Corp. of its decision to halt the first government-approved clinical trial involving embryonic stem cells. Reuters fairly noted that "teams working with adult stem cells -- a less ambitious area -- are making good progress." While one could quarrel with the characterization of adult stem cell research as "less ambitious" (unless you throw in cloning, which is what sometimes seems to be embryonic researchers' primary area of intrigue), its "good progress" descriptor was fair. Meanwhile, the Associated Press's coverage of the same story failed to even recognize the existence of adult stem cell research.
Wesley Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism and an influential prolife author, has observed that the establishment press has largely come down where AP did. A Friday Catholic News Agency item elaborates (bolds are mine):
He said it, he meant it, and there's no denying it.
On Monday, in a statement carried at the Washington Post, the Associated Press, the New York Times (Page A8 of Tuesday's print edition), and elsewhere, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told U.S. troops at Camp Victory in Baghdad: "The reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked. And 3,000 Americans — 3,000 not just Americans, 3,000 human beings, innocent human beings — got killed because of al-Qaeda. And we’ve been fighting as a result of that."
That sound you hear is a Democratic Party meme shattering into teeny tiny pieces. The attempts to put Humpty Dumpty together again, both by Panetta himself and the establishment press contingent following him, have been pathetic and ineffectual, which is what happens when one is up against succinctly stated truths.
"It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."
-John Adams, July 3rd, 1776
Seems like a lot of fuss over a document written to form a political agreement between some loosely unified colonies more than 200 years ago.
When Adams wrote that, a nation had been created, yes, but it had yet to win any significant victories in its war against the most powerful military in the world. Many states were nearly bankrupt and it wasn't certain they'd hang together. And for all its noble ideas about equality, the Declaration did nothing to end slavery, which Adams called "as offensive in the sight of God as it is derogatory from our own honor or interest of happiness."
As oil and gas prices head to new highs, we're hearing more calls from the President and his media minions about how this is all the fault of Wall Street investors.
On "Fox News Sunday," the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol said the two biggest speculators who have damaged the U.S. economy are President Obama and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Just weeks ago, the radio station that pioneered the tremendously-popular conservative talk radio format announced it was switching to a "classic hits" music station, thus ending a groundbreaking near-20 years of conservative talk.
In 1992, Seattle's 570 KVI picked up a rising radio star by the name of Rush Limbaugh to run a political talk show amidst the station's daily broadcast of 50s hit music. The show became an instant success, and the station proceeded to fill the slots around Rush with other conservative talkers, including Mike Siegel, John Carlson, and Michael Medved.
Should Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, GOP candidates for Governor and Senate in California, respectively, be worried by recent CNN/Time poll numbers showing both trailing by sizable margins? In short: no, not really.
That's because Time/CNN seem to have stacked the deck by significantly overestimating the number of Democrats likely to vote in this year's strong anti-Obama electorate.
According to the Weekly Standard's Jay Cost, the Time/CNN poll seems to think that Democrats will have more of their voters this year than in their banner 2008 year. Cost examined the Time/CNN numbers, compared them to exit polls from previous elections, and concluded - accurately, I believe - that the poll significantly oversampled Democrats.
Time magazine's Joe Klein yesterday did what he does best: take one paragraph from a neoconservative's column and blow it out of proportion and out of context in order to go on an extended screed bashing conservatives in general and neocons in particular.
Writing for his magazine's Swampland blog yesterday, Klein addressed Bill Kristol's editorial for the August 30 Weekly Standard print edition entitled, "He's No Muslim, He's a Progressive."
Klein started off with a backhanded compliment:
Well, it's good to learn that there are limits to Bill Kristol's tactical skeevery. He clearly states here that Barack Obama is not a Muslim. No winks, no nods, no gratuitous McConnellesque "If he says he's not, that's okay with me."
With that out of the way, Klein dove into his screed:
Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly identified the author in question as Richard Epstein. The post's author was in fact Joseph Epstein. NewsBusters regrets the error.
Author Joseph Epstein disowned the New York Times today. "Adios, Gray Lady," he proclaimed at the Weekly Standard's website. "She's become a bit - perhaps more than a bit - of a slut," Epstein claimed, "whoring after youth through pretending to be with-it."
Epstein hysterically decried the Times's ongoing descent into pomposity and cultural irrelevance. And Epstein would know - he claims he's been a subscriber for 50 years.
Chief among Epstein's grievances was the contents of the Times's opinion pages. Though he praised David Brooks, longtime token conservative of the Times's commentators (and by many measures hardly a conservative at all), as not being "locked into a Pavlovian political response," Epstein claimed that "I find no need to read any of the Times's regular columnists."
The August 16 Weekly Standard highlighted a striking change in views from Time’s Joe Klein, whose take seems to have changed to fit what’s fashionable. On August 2, in a “Swampland” blog post looking at President Obama’s speech touting the end of combat operations in Iraq, Klein fretted it “will not be remembered as vividly as George Bush's juvenile march across the deck of an aircraft carrier, costumed as a combat aviator in a golden sunset, to announce—six years and tens of thousands of lives prematurely—the ‘end of combat operations.’”
But back when Bush’s USS Lincoln landing occurred, Klein was more enthralled with it, asserting on the May 4, 2003 Face the Nation: “Well, that was probably the coolest presidential image since Bill Pullman played the jet fighter pilot in the movie Independence Day.” (Video, from the MRC’s archive, is of the matching exchange between Bob Schieffer and Klein. Audio: MP3 clip.) The Weekly Standard’s “Scrapbook” page observed:
As Peter Wehner noted at the Commentary magazine blog Contentions, “Such bipolar shifts of opinion in a high-ranking public official would be alarming and dangerous; in a columnist and blogger, they are comical and discrediting.”
Even in that 2003 CBS appearance, however, Klein wasn’t happy about Bush’s successful PR maneuver, regretting how it illustrated the “major struggle the Democrats are going to have to try and beat a popular incumbent President.”
Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has struck back at Paul Krugman calling the New York Times columnist "intellectually lazy."
As NewsBusters reported Saturday, Krugman wrote an article the previous day castigating Ryan as "The Flimflam Man" calling the Congressman a "charlatan" and a "fraud" while claiming his "Roadmap" to balance the nation's budget was "drenched in flimflam sauce."
Krugman's criticisms of the Republican rising star were of course praised by all manner of media member from the shills at MSNBC to the sycophants in the liberal blogosphere.
Daniel Schorr’s passing on Friday, at age 93, reminded me of the kind of assaults CBS News unleashed on conservatives before there were any countervailing forums available. A 2001 Weekly Standard article (nine years in my “pending” file!) detailed a particularly vicious left-wing hit piece he narrated in 1964 which linked Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater with neo-Nazis in Germany, a CBS Evening News story notorious enough to earn a mention – if without any censure – in the New York Times and Washington Post obituaries.
In a June of 2001 Weekly Standard review of a memoir by Schorr about his years with CBS, CNN and NPR, Andrew Ferguson recited the piece which aired during the GOP’s convention:
“It looks as though Senator Goldwater, if nominated, will be starting his campaign here in Bavaria, center of Germany's right wing” also known, Schorr added helpfully, as “Hitler's one-time stomping ground.” Goldwater, he went on, had given an interview to Der Spiegel, “appealing to right-wing elements in Germany,” and had agreed to speak to a conclave of, yes, “right-wing Germans.” “Thus," Schorr concluded, “there are signs that the American and German right wings are joining up.” Now back to you, Walter, and have a nice day!
Ferguson pointed out what eluded the Washington Post and New York Times: “Though easily checkable, it was false in all its particulars” and “was false in its obvious implication of an Anschluss between German neo-Nazis and U.S. Republicans.” Nonetheless, “if Schorr was embarrassed by the Goldwater episode, his memoir shows no signs of it.”
Something about the soccer World Cup brings out the missionary in the mainstream media, and every four years they strive to bring the good news of "the beautiful game" to the ignorant American masses.
This year is no different. The 2010 World Cup is set to begin in South Africa on June 11. More than just covering the month-long event, the media are already doing their best to hype it, overstating its popularity in the United States and its potential appeal to U.S. sports fans. From Time magazine dedicating an entire issue to "The Global Game," to CBS's helpful "The World Cup Guide for Americans," the public is being brow-beaten to catch "World Cup Fever."
And while soccer partisans may try (mostly unsuccessfully) to score on point-by-point comparisons to baseball or football, the most compelling argument many media outlets can muster is, "The rest of the world loves it. We should too."
The liberal media have always been uncomfortable with "American exceptionalism" - the belief that the United States is unique among nations, a leader and a force for good. And they are no happier with America's rejection of soccer than with its rejection of socialism.
Hence Americans are "xenophobic," "isolated" and lacking in understanding for other nations and their passion for "the planetary pastime," as Time magazine put it. But, they are confident, as America becomes more Hispanic, the nation will have to give in and adopt the immigrants' game. On the other hand, the media assure the public that soccer is already "America's Game," and Americans are enthusiastically anticipating the World Cup, even though the numbers don't bear that contention out.
So, every four years they return with renewed determination to force soccer's square peg in the round hole of American culture.
Democrats generally do not have to worry about an unfriendly press. Most journalists are more than happy to toe the liberal line. But when things turn south for the Democrat, the harder questions start flowing, and occasionally it can get ugly.
We've seen our fair share of backlash against reporters from the Democratic candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, Martha Coakley. Videos keep popping up of people directly affiliated with the campaign harassing--verbally and physically--members of the press.
First it was veteran Democratic political operative Michael Meehan, who was caught on video shoving the Weekly Standard's John McCormack to the ground outside a restaurant on Capitol Hill. McCormack was trying to ask about the "no terrorists in Afghanistan" blunder Coakley uttered a couple weeks ago.
A video appeared today on RealClearPolitics showing two staffers at a Coakley campaign office screaming at a member of the press to leave the office, shouting obscenities at the woman, and calling her a Nazi (video here - h/t Ed Driscoll).
But given that the incident in question is a Weekly Standard writer alleging an assault by an aide for Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley (Mass.), it's understandable, but not excusable, if you don't hear much about this from the broadcast or cable news networks.
For its part, the Associated Press -- in a story run on Boston.com -- all but dismissed the incident for the Coakley camp with a five-paragraph article blandly titled "Reporter takes stumble chasing Mass. candidate," wherein John McCormack of the Weekly Standard was said to have been "involved in a scuffle with one of [Coakley's] aides," a man by the name of Michael Meehan.
But after the dust settled some, the White House shifted its focused to so-called health care reform. And additionally, leaked emails surrounding the recent event known ClimateGate have put the entire premise of anthropogenic global warming in doubt. Thus, the likelihood of congressional Democrats getting a bill to the President's desk and signed into law has somewhat dimmed.
And that's a topic a special Thanksgiving Nov. 26 broadcast of Fox News "Special Report" took on. Host Bret Baier explained that there's pending legislation put forward by Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., with some rigid guidelines for carbon emissions.
"Hello, 911? This is the Dede Scozzafava campaign. Could you send a police car over to the Elks Lodge? There is a reporter here asking our candidate uncomfortable questions. Thank you."
Something like this call went out last night when a reporter committed the "high crime" of asking Republican congressional candidate, Dede Scozzafava (endorsed by the Daily Kos), questions that she obviously felt very uneasy about answering. Scozzafava, who was recently the subject of an Open Thread here on NewsBusters, is running in the special election for the open seat in the NY 23rd congressional district. She was being questioned last night by John McCormack of the Weekly Standard when the police were called with a complaint about him for making Scozzafava uncomfortable with his probing questions. Here is how McCormack describes the scene:
Lowville, N.Y. Tonight, Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate for the November 3 special election in the 23rd congressional district, spoke to about 100 Republicans at the Lewis County GOP dinner at the Elks Lodge 1605. After a dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, Scozzafava fended off criticism that she wasn't as conservative as third-party candidate Doug Hoffman and urged her supporters to vote for her in order to keep her Democratic opponent Bill Owens from serving as a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama's agenda in Washington. It was a fairly typical evening--until the speech ended and someone with Scozzafava's campaign called the police. On me.
The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack has a fine run-down of CNN’s use of the discredited claim that Rush Limbaugh once said of slavery “it had its merits.” McCormack also reports that the Huffington Post, which originally ran the quote (and another preposterous quote about Limbaugh saying that MLK assassin James Earl Ray deserved “the Congressional Medal of Honor”) in a 2006 post by left-wing author Jack Huberman, might pull the quotes from their Web site as early as today.
McCormack contacted the Huffington Post, and was told by a spokeswoman that “now that the issue has been raised,” Huberman has now been asked to back up the quote. “When a question of accuracy is raised with us, we give our bloggers 24 hours to either back up the claim or correct the record. If not, we remove the post.”
McCormack, playing off the fact that CNN’s Rick Sanchez has yet to retract the statement, says: “So around 6:00 p.m. tonight we'll get to find out whether the Huffington Post has higher editorial standards than CNN.”
Barack Obama’s bumbling of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics is a test for the Washington press corps, the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes argues. Liberal reporters may refuse to see the controversy in Obama’s far-left agenda, but the President’s high-profile Olympic flub offers a non-ideological story of White House incompetence.
Now is the time for the mainstream media to show it’s not totally in President Obama’s pocket. The Washington press corps will never fault Obama for pushing hyper-liberal policies in a moderate-to-conservative country. Ideological criticism by the press is reserved for Republican presidents.
But the media is faced with three facts as a result of Obama’s embarrassing failure in Copenhagen. 1) The failure itself. 2) The incompetence. 3) The lack of persuasive ability. There’s nothing ideological about any of these items....
Catching up with a great catch in last week's Weekly Standard “Scrapbook” section, the September 7 issue highlighted an example of how it takes a worldview that sees liberals like Barack Obama as “consensus”-oriented/“explicitly nonideological” centrists -- and Republicans as “ideologically committed” conservatives -- to work at the New York Times. Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the newspaper's Book Review and Week in Review sections, in his new book, The Death of Conservatism, proposes on page 23:
The primary dynamic of American politics, normally described as a continual friction between the two major parties, is equally in our time a competition between the liberal idea of consensus and the conservative idea of orthodoxy. We see it in the Democratic Party's recent history of choosing centrist, explicitly nonideological presidential candidates (Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama), as contrasted with the Republicans' preference for ideologically committed ones (Goldwater, Reagan, George W. Bush).
The unnamed Weekly Standard writer scoffed: “The sophistry here is breathtaking. Tanenhaus not only conflates his own political preferences with the American 'center.' In order to prove that only the Democratic party nominates 'centrist, explicitly nonideological' men for the presidency, Tanenhaus (1) puts Obama – Barack Obama! – in the 'centrist' camp, and (2) totally ignores Democrats Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, and Al Gore, as well as Republicans Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, and John McCain.”