Apparently the journalistic disease known as obsessive-compulsive interactive map publishing is spreading.
Late last year, Gannett's Journal News in White Plains, New York created a firestorm when it published an interactive map of gun permit holders in two counties north of New York City, obviously giving criminals, depending on how they target victims, the identity of places to rob to get guns or, by inference, people they could be comfortable wouldn't be carrying concealed weapons. On Wednesday evening, the Des Moines Register published an item still present on its site discussing the general degree of presence or absence of resource officers at Iowa schools. It also published a "handy" interactive map, since taken down, of which schools have resource officers, which ones don't, and which ones didn't respond to a survey on the topic. Excerpts from the report follow the jump (HT Newsmax via The Blaze):
The first rule for those who have dug themselves into rhetorical holes is: Stop digging. As noted yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul ignored that rule on January 5 by claiming that his December 30 column -- which, among other things, advocated "(tying) Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag(ging) them around a parking lot until they ... (see) the light on gun control" and having those who resist the efforts of those trying to pry their "guns from their cold, dead hands" should get their wish -- was "satire" comparable to the work Jonathan Swift.
The first rule for bystanders watching others digging themselves into such dangerous holes is: Take away their shovel. Instead, Register editor Rick Green joined in the digging in a Saturday column, even backing Kaul's ridiculous "satire" claim (bolds are mine):
On December 30, (originally noted at NewsBusters by MRC's Tim Graham), twice- or thrice-retired Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul, feeling compelled to come back and begin writing columns again, in the Register's words, "when events move him," made five immodest proposals: 1) "Repeal the Second Amendment"; 2) "Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal"; 3) "Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony"; 4) People resisting the confiscation efforts of those trying to pry their "guns from their cold, dead hands" should get their wish; 5) "tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they ... (see) the light on gun control."
Following a firestorm of outrage, Kaul wrote a January 5 follow-up column claiming he was only engaging in satire, while arrogantly comparing himself to Jonathan Swift and the revered satirist's Modest Proposal. Really. Mr. Kaul seems to have missed something about how his supposedly satirical original column differs from Swift's work:
In a Washington Examiner column last night, Gregory Kane made several quite valid points in comparing the media firestorm over Rush Limbaugh's comments about Sarah Fluke to the virtual silence over Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul, who, if he were in charge, "would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control." Kaul also wrote that he would, "If some people refused to give up their guns," make "that 'prying the guns from their cold, dead hands' thing" operative.
Confirming what readers here would expect, a search at the Associated Press's national web site on Kaul's last name comes up empty. Key paragraphs from Kane's column follow the jump (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
This morning, P.J. Gladnick at NewsBusters pointed to how the Des Moines Register avoided identifying the employer of a "prominent member of a well known Democrat campaign consulting firm" who was also a "former Obama campaign staffer" until the firm, LINK Strategies, had a chance to fire him. Once Zachary Edwards was shown the door, it it became a "safe" story to cover, whereupon the Register ran the story as "Political consultants quickly fire arrested man." But of course.
Though the story of Edwards's arrest in connection with an attempt to steal Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz's identity is nationally newsworthy, it appears that the Associated Press has not yet covered it that way, while avoiding the damning details in its local/regional story.
No, that wasn't Laurence Olivier as a Nazi dentist drilling holes into Dustin Hoffman's teeth in Marathon Man as he kept repeating that question. In this case it was the Des Moines Register wondering if it was "safe" to mention that a former Obama campaign staffer, Zachary Edwards (see mug shot), who was arrested on Friday for attempted identity theft of the Iowa Republican Secretary of State, Matt Schultz, was a prominent member of a well known Democrat campaign consulting firm, LINK Strategies. On Friday, the day the Des Moines Register first briefly reported the arrest, it wasn't "safe" to mention Link Strategies:
On Sunday, both morning and evening newscasts on ABC and NBC touted the Des Moines Register's endorsement of Mitt Romney as a boost for his campaign for President, in spite of the paper's left-wing tilt in a state where the Republican Party is predominantly conservative. While they did at least note the paper's liberal slant, both networks still played up the liberal endorsement.
The seemingly endless variety of "name that party" stunts has yet another wrinkle.
In this case, Matt Drudge is currently linking to a Des Moines Register story ("Culver OKs state pay raises"; also saved here at host for future reference) about how outgoing Iowa Governor Chet Culver has decided to rush through union contracts granting thousands of state employees 3% raises (before considering "step" raises that occur with seniority) in each of the next two years before Republican Governor Terry Bransted takes over in January.
The headline for Drudge's link is "Lame duck Dem governor in Iowa OKs $100 million in raises for state workers." Actually, it's $100 million a year for the next two years. But the linked Register article by Jason Clayworth never identifies Culver's Democratic Party affiliation, even though he tags the governor's opposition as Republican twice in the first two paragraphs. In other words, not that it was difficult to show that Culver is a Dem, but Drudge had to figure it out and tell his readers -- and we thank him for that.
In a September 5 editorial promoting the legalization of RU-486 telemed abortions, the Des Moines Register editorial board had to admitPlanned Parenthood of the Heartland is currently committing them illegally. Read carefully:
… Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has used telemedicine as it was intended: to expand access to legal health services in rural Iowa. The challenge of that smart approach should prompt state leaders to update laws and policies – to give Iowans increased access to health care, including abortion, through the use of technology.
Now it’s up to Iowa leaders to:
- Re-evaluate outdated abortion laws in this state.
The law requiring physicians to perform abortions made sense when all abortions were surgical procedures. But that requirement is called into question now that women are increasingly choosing to take a drug….
Iowa should take a step forward in fostering 21st century medicine – including using it to give women access to a legal medical procedure.
You'd expect to see this in the liberal blogosphere or possibly some of the national mainstream media outlets with an obvious agenda. But now some of the preemptive strikes against Republican senators leading up to the Senate confirmation hearings and eventual vote to confirm President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, are finding their way into local newspapers.
An op-ed published in The Anniston (Ala.) Star on May 28 by Ari Rabin-Havt, the managing director of the left-wing Media Matters Action Network, attacked the new ranking Republican of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. He alleged that if Sessions and other Senate Republicans didn't commit to taking a filibuster off the table for Sotomayor's confirmation, they would be guilty of hypocrisy.
Condensing a December 7 story by Des Moines Register's Grant Schulte on a lawsuit in Iowa that may create same-sex marriage in the Hawkeye State, USA Today's left out the meat of conservative critiques of the lawsuit, citing three supporters of the lawsuit to one conservative critic.
According to an article in the Des Moines Register, a link to which is posted on Mark Levin's Web site, Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin recently argued that John McCain's upbringing by a military family, rather than being a plus, is actually a liability because McCain would have a "hard time thinking beyond" the "world view shaped by" his military family upbringing, and also said it "can be pretty dangerous." Harkin: "Everything is looked at from his life experiences, from always having been in the military, and I think that can be pretty dangerous." So far, the only mainstream media coverage of Harkin's comments seems to have come from FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume on Thursday. (Transcript follows)
The Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, issued a press release announcing that their cost study on immigration will be released tomorrow during a news conference at Iowa's 2007 Talk Radio Row.
FAIR's press release states that “previous state and private studies over-estimated tax receipts and under-estimated costs.”
The details of this study are sure to be controversial, and the Des Moines Register reported last week that “immigrant-rights groups” are already critical and calling for the upcoming radio event to be scuttled.
Here is part of FAIR's press release promoting the event (bold mine throughout):
I'm caffeinated and ready to blog. I'll focus mostly on the questions from the moderator, Carolyn Washburn. I'm watching the feed from Fox News Channel.
Here goes nothin':
15:25 | Debate's over. Thought it'd never end. Washburn seemed much more at ease with the Democrats, as well as looser with the time constraints. I don't believe she ever cut anyone off, for example. The questions generally tacked to the left. The series of questions pressing the candidates on character issues was promising on paper but seemed uneven. Her question to Clinton on secrecy was soft. The question to Biden about his ill-advised jokes about Indians owning Dunkin Donut shops was good, but Hillary Clinton made similar comments about Indians and gas stations, which went unmentioned.
15:22 | Washburn: "What are the lessons from Iowa?"
15:20 | Richardson resolves to lose weight. Well, he could ask Huckabee about that policy plank.
15:17 | Washburn: "Tell us your New Year's resolution for 2008."
15:15 | Washburn asks about the use of signing statements when signing legislation.
Following up on Al Gore’s reception of the Nobel Peace Prize, Carolyn Washburn of the Des Moines Register asked the Republican candidates several questions on the issue of "global climate change" and related topics. At the beginning of the debate, Washburn stated "we won't talk a lot about issues like Iraq or immigration. They're important issues, no doubt, but Iowans say they know where the candidates are coming from on those." But Washburn gave no indication that Iowans actually wanted to hear more about the Republican candidates’ stance on climate change.
The 28 Iowa Republican assembled by pollster Frank Luntz for today’s GOP debate had various opinions about the candidates, but were virtually unanimous in panning the performance of Des Moines Register editor and debate moderator Carolyn Washburn, calling her “boring,” “antagonistic,” and “like paint drying.”
In the debate, Washburn frequently cut off exchanges between the candidates, and at one point sparked a mini-rebellion when she asked for a show of hands on the issue of climate change. When former Senator Fred Thompson said he preferred a minute to explain his position, Washburn told him no.
During live coverage on the Fox News Channel a few minutes after the debate ended at 3:30 ET, Luntz turned to his focus group: “How many of you thought that this was a good moderator? Raise your hands.”