In a careless attempt to get a rise out of their readers, mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post and Esquire Magazine erroneously reported that the Navy SEAL credited with the assassination of Osama bin Laden had been unceremoniously stripped of health insurance following his retirement last September.
The story immediately went viral, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff from the Post and their massive followings on Twitter. Former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle Phil Bronstein originally posted an 'exhaustively researched' article about it on Esquire's site. Upon its publication and online distribution however, some readers noticed just how rife with inaccuracies the story was. Former public affairs officer of the Department of Veteran Affairs Brandon Friedman was among them. (H/T - Twitchy)
So much for the idea that the children of public figures are off limits when it comes to criticism...
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford best known to the world for turning himself into a laughingstock four years ago for his inadvertently hilarious suggestion that Barack Obama is some sort of spiritually attuned Lightworker, has demonstrated in his most recent column that he has no problem with wallowing in the spiritual sewer. Morford does not merely mock the daughters of Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin but seems absolutely obsessed in attempting to make them as much the objects of ridicule that he has already become. Read Morford's insane rantings about them and you get the idea that perhaps a psychiatric intervention in the form of restraint straps is needed here:
On December 2, the Associated Press carried a story by Terry Collins with the following headline: "Murder charge filed in Occupy Oakland slaying."
What? I thought that the related November attack, despite a statement from an actual eyewitness, "was unrelated to the ongoing protest of U.S. financial institutions" -- i.e., that it was unrelated to Occupy Oakland. After all, the San Francisco Chronicle and the AP both carried statements to that effect several weeks ago. Surprise, surprise (not):
I went to the Associated Press last night to see what the self-described Essential Global News Network would have to say about the murder which took place in Oakland on Thursday afternoon "near" that city's increasingly disgusting and dangerous "Occupy" camp.
Here's what I found, as written by Terry Collins (the report has since been updated and its 7:07 a.m. today version is saved here, but the paragraph which follows was also present last night; bolds are mine throughout this post):
That is the current talking point desperately being promoted by the Associated Press, and now picked up by the San Francisco Chronicle, to try to explain away the selling of guns to members of the Mexican drug cartel by the Obama administration. The only problem is that the Associated Press left out a key detail as pointed out by Katie Pavlich of Townhall. First the misleading claim by AP:
An arguably unconstitutional effort in San Francisco at regulating the speech of pro-life crisis pregnancy centers was portrayed by New York Times reporter Jesse McKinley as an effort to “stem… misleading advertising”:
Seeking to stem what they call misleading advertising, San Francisco officials on Tuesday began a two-pronged attack on ‘crisis pregnancy centers,’ which are billed as places for pregnant women to get advice, but often use counseling to discourage abortions.
McKinley noted that the “first element was a bill introduced to the city’s Board of Supervisors that would make it illegal for such centers to advertise falsely about their pregnancy-related services,” noting that Supervisor Malia Cohen wrote the bill “to protect low-income women who are drawn into the centers, which often offer free services.”
Former Washington Post reporter Jose Antonio Vargas has written a long piece for The New York Times Magazine declaring that he’s an illegal alien and that he’s created a new advocacy group called Define American (“a project of the Tides Center”) to push for the DREAM Act that would provide permanent residency to illegal aliens brought to America as children.
Vargas, 30, lied to a string of media outlets about his immigration status with a fake driver’s license from Oregon. He came over from the Philippines at age 12. (Vargas told the truth to Post editor Peter Perl, a mentor, but he wouldn’t comment now.) In the Post story on this by Paul Farhi, Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti offered a no-comment on Vargas’s employment at the paper: “We will not comment on individual personnel matters out of respect for the privacy of our employees.”
Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland, CA has joined the chorus of those wishing to mainstream “gender-bending” by enacting a program this week that, according to a press release, tells kindergarteners “there are more than two genders.”
The kindergarten through fifth grade school hosted a 2-day program for students titled, “Gender Spectrum Diversity Training,” in which single-sex Hawaiian geckos and transgender clownfish were brought in to teach children that “there are different ways to be boys. There are different ways to be girls,” according to Redwood Heights principal Sara Stone. Students received gender diversity training as they learned about “boy snakes that act ‘girly’.”
Yesterday evening (late afternoon West Coast time), Phil Bronstein at the San Francisco Chronicle informed his readers that one of its reporters had been banned by the Obama administration:
The hip, transparent and social media-loving Obama administration is showing its analog roots. And maybe even some hypocrisy highlights.
White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news.
As part of its effort to "shore up" the backing of social conservatives, House Republicans today "issued a contract today to pay former Solicitor General Paul Clement $575 an hour, up to $500,000 to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act," San Francisco Chronicle's Carolyn Lochhead insisted in the paper's Politics Blog.
"Republicans claim they will take the money out of the Justice Department's budget, as if that will hold taxpayers harmless. But a cost is a cost and taxpayers will pay it either way. Any funds removed from DOJ are funds removed from other work," Lochhead groused.
This from the same reporter who approved of Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget proposal as "centrist."
That's the headline the San Francisco Chronicle gave Washington bureau staffer Carolyn Lochhead's write-up this afternoon following President Obama's "belated embrace of his commission's recommendation to cut $4 trillion in deficits over the next 12 years."
"Even as he reached back to his 2008 campaign lodestar with a reference to Abraham Lincoln, Obama pivoted sharply to a new mantra of 'balance' and 'shared sacrifice,' citing his Democratic predecessor and budget-balancer, former President Bill Clinton," Lochhead gushed.
Two paragraphs later Lochhead noted that "Obama threw down the gauntlet to Republicans, vowing, 'I refuse to renew them again.'"
A conservative writer likely unknown to most NewsBusters readers scolded Politico's Roger Simon Sunday for trying to connect Sarah Palin to yesterday's shootings in Tucson, Arizona.
Surrounded by liberals on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle said what would be obvious to most journalists if they weren't always so quick to tie extreme acts of violence committed by a white male to prominent right-wing figures (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Senate GOP: Extend tax cuts or else," reads the teaser headline for an Associated Press story at SFGate.com, the website for the San Francisco Chronicle.
[Screen capture posted after page break]
"Republicans send letter to Harry Red threatening to block virtually all legislation until expiring tax cuts for wealthy are extended," an accompanying caption insisted.
In the corresponding story, AP writer Julie Hirschfeld Davis lamented that "Senate Republicans threatened Wednesday to block virtually all legislation until expiring tax cuts are extended and a bill is passed to fund the federal government, vastly complicating Democratic attempts to leave their own stamp on the final days of the post-election Congress."
Of course, nowhere in her story did Hirschfeld Davis note that a recent poll shows most Americans think extending the Bush tax cuts are the top priority for the lame duck Congress. According to the Gallup organization:
This past week, we learned that it was another year, another dive for newspaper circulations: 5% for dailies, and 4.5% on Sundays, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. That's not as bad as some past declines, but it's still going the wrong way.
As usual, they'll blame the Internet, and reject the possibility that persistent, pervasive bias and blind adherence to politically correct reporting priorities have anything to do with the results. But as I've similarly asked before, how does one explain away the fact that the only daily paper in the nation's top 25 that has shown consistent gains during the past several years is the (usually) fair and balanced Wall Street Journal?
It's the tale of two attempts at "digital astroturf" or "online grassroots activism" or whatever you want to call it. Regardless of the label, there's an apparent media double standard at work: attempts to rig prominent online information sources for political gain is only worth reporting if the perpetrators are conservatives.
The blogosphere - though not the mainstream media - has been buzzing about a proposed campaign by a Daily Kos blogger to game Google's search algorithm to promote stories unfriendly to the Tea Party and the GOP.
Contrast the media's silence with the buzz over an alleged attempt by a conservative group on the aggregator Digg to "bury" stories on that site. That plot got coverage from ABC News, the Atlantic, the San Francisco Chronicle, even across the pond at the UK Guardian - not to mention from scores of liberal blogs.
Today, eight city council members were arrested in Bell, California for what Los Angeles County District Attorney labeled "corruption on steroids." Thus far, every major news outlet that has reported on the story has omitted the fact that all eight individuals arrested are Democrats.
These glaring omissions come only weeks after NewsBusters reported that of the 351 stories on the then-brewing controversy, 350 had omitted party affiliations, and one had mentioned they were Democrats only in apologizing for not doing so sooner.
As your humble correspondent has learned, writing humor can be very dangerous since it can easily backfire. Such was the case with a story written by the former Mr. Sharon Stone aka Phil Bronstein, Editor-at-Large of the San Francisco Chronicle. Just from the very title of his piece, "Should Obama have smoked crack?" you just know Bronstein was going to run into trouble. Some readers didn't know he was trying to be funny and were outraged. Other readers realized he was attempting to write humor but felt it was really lame. So here is Bronstein's backfiring humor attempt:
...His druggie past is not helping him shape the overarching grit of his public character nearly as much as it could be. Weed and cocaine? Who's going to be impressed with that, when his hugely successful contemporaries like Oprah Winfrey have the truly dark and evil specter of crack in their background?
...He needed some rock in that pipe of his youth. If he'd had a crack addiction then instead of an effete taste for powdered cocaine and pot, people might be a little more respectful of him now. It would have been an even tougher journey to the top. The big dog bite needs teeth sharpened by real adversity.
You would think that in the midst of the liberal media's fight to rip Arizona's Immigration Law, that the phrase ‘illegal immigrant' would be fairly easy to use in an appropriate manner. Yet that is seemingly only the case when the phrase is used to cast common-sense immigration enforcement as discriminatory. But when it comes to a story that could shed light on why enforcement is a necessity for the safety and security of a nation and its people, then the phrase - no matter how accurate - is quickly forgotten.
One high profile case, the murder of Chandra Levy, highlights this fact. It has been quite some time (over a year) since Ingmar Guandique was charged with Levy's murder, and much longer since he was identified as being an illegal immigrant from El Salvador.
And while Guandique's illegal status isn't necessarily news to those having actually followed the case, you would think it was still an unproven fact based on media reports past and present.
As a recent update reveals, attorney's working on behalf of Guandique argued that he would not get a fair trial in Washington, though a judge has now determined that the trial will indeed stay in DC. Coinciding with this news, is the recent release of a book covering the case entitled, Finding Chandra. With these updates, one has to wonder how far the media has come in their willingness to report the truth. How far have they come since Michelle Malkin noted a perfect record of going 115 for 115 in reports failing to mention the suspect's illegal status back in 2002? As it turns out, not far at all...
For the second year in a row, a state official has proposed eliminating the former Golden State's "welfare-to-work" program, which the rest of us know as "welfare," or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Last year, it was left to a spokesman for the state's Department of Finance to bring out the idea. This year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fronted it himself.
As has been the case for the almost four years I've been following the situation, the press once again universally failed to provide anything resembling context. If it did, people would understand that this is a story about a decade-long shocking level of theoretically well-intentioned waste (the cynical observation would be that the good intentions are tempered by the likelihood that dependent voters are overwhelmingly Democratic voters).
The as up to date as possible context (through September 30 of last year for recipients and families, the latest available government data; some estimation was required because certain data fields are blank) is this:
Watching the media's inability to find relevant investigative news during the Obama era is like watching a bald-headed fellow named Fudd hunting for ‘wabbit'.
Such is the case of the main stream media's complete and utter ignorance involving the administration recently steering a $25 million no-bid contract to a Democratic campaign contributor.
While Fox News reporter James Rosen did an in-depth investigative report (and follow up) on the deal with Checchi & Company - despite working for what the administration considers a non-news network - the entire media establishment had ignored a significant reneging of campaign promises, right up until that deal was canceled.
Doing his best impersonation of a crystal ball, NewsBuster Tom Blumer correctly foretold the future when he questioned the media response to the story:
"Will the rest of the establishment press risk the tattered remnants of its credibility, follow the White House's suggestion, and ignore the story because it's coming from Fox?"
The San Francisco Chronicle proclaimed history from Sacramento on Friday: "Assemblyman John Pérez, an openly gay Latino Democrat from Los Angeles, made history Thursday when he was unanimously chosen by the Assembly's Democratic Caucus to succeed Karen Bass as the lower house's leader.
As with Obama, the call of "history" obviously trumped experience. Reporter Marisa Lagos added: "Pérez, a freshman lawmaker who is expected to be formally voted in as the 68th Assembly speaker in January, will become the body's first openly gay leader."
So when in the story would the Chronicle acknowledge that Republicans or conservative activists disapproved of this odd decision? They never did.
Welcome to San Francisco media, where only the forces of "history" are worth quoting.
The Chronicle story ran only elated liberals and gay activists (and the word "liberal" was never used). Instead it's a pinch-me moment of inclusion:
Reporters at the Associated Press are clearly unhappy that Maine voters turned out to refuse to honor "gay marriage" at the ballot box. An AP dispatch two days ago by Lisa Leff and David Sharp suggested conservatives are misleading voters with charges that have "no evidence," like students going on a field trip to a lesbian wedding.
Are they that factually challenged at AP? From Fox News on October 13, 2008, just weeks before the vote on California’s Proposition 8:
First-graders in San Francisco took a field trip to City Hall to celebrate the marriage of their lesbian teacher on Friday, but opponents of same-sex marriage in the state say the field trip was an attempt to "indoctrinate" the students, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The field trip was suggested by a parent at the Creative Arts Charter School, and the school said the trip, where students tossed rose petals on their teacher and her wife as they left City Hall, was academically relevant.
The Democratic mayor of Oakland, CA and his wife recently admitted to failing to pay $239,000 in taxes since 2005. The San Francisco Chronicle covered the story, but made no mention of the mayor's party, in striking contrast to coverage of recent ethics violations by Republicans in the state.
"We owe taxes," Mayor Ron Dellums, pictured right, bluntly said in a statement on Tuesday. "The matter is being dealt with and will be resolved in short order." The IRS imposed a tax lien on the couple's $1.4 million home in the Foxhall Crescent neighborhood in Washington, DC, and 3,200 square foot house in Oakland Hills.
There is no party identification in the story, however, only a statement in the second-to-last paragraph that Dellums is a "stalwart of progressive ideals." It seems the Chronicle could not bring itself to state the he is a Democrat.
The latest newspaper circulation numbers, measuring copies sold from April through September of this year, show a 10.6 percent decline in daily newspaper sales, the first double-digit drop in circulation ever. Newspaper readership is now at its lowest level since before World War II.
The biggest losers during this six-month period, as reported by NewsBusters's Tom Blumer, were the San Francisco Chronicle (down 25.8 percent daily), the Newark Star-Ledger (down 22.2 percent daily), and the Boston Globe (down 18.5 percent daily).
The New York Times's sales during the period fell to 927,861, the first time the paper sold less than 1 million copies in that time span in decades. The Wall Street Journal saw a 0.6 percent increase in circulation, making it the most purchased newspaper in the country. The Journal surpassed USA Today, whose circulation declined by over 17 percent.
It's a variation on the old riddle, "What's black and white, but read all over?"
If you change one word and add two others, the answer to the resulting question -- "What's still mostly black and white, but red all over?" -- would be, based on just-released information about their daily circulation, "all but one of the nation's top 25 newspapers turning in comparative numbers."
Here are a few paragraphs from Michael Liedtke's coverage of the carnage at the Associated Press, which depends largely on newspaper subscription fees for its lifeblood. Note the "so far" reference in Liedtke's third paragraph:
In his latest push for a health care overhaul bill, President Obama spoke to doctors in the White House Rose Garden yesterday. Painting a nice picture of the event were many media outlets that neglected to mention the White House's doctoring (forgive the pun) of the audience in an attempt at a powerful photo-op.
Doctors attending the event were instructed to show up in white lab coats to give observers the feeling that doctors stand behind the President's health care plans.
Not to be outdone in the pious-sounding eco-rhetoric, the San Francisco Chronicle's Thin Green Line blog today warns tech geeks and video game aficionados against the original sin of technological advance:
Technology, at times, offers a magic key into the environmental garden of Eden, where humans can use energy and feel good about it. But, at times, it can be the serpent tempting us to eat the apple that will mean our eviction.
Blogger Cameron Scott goes on to explain that the wages of tech are carbon, tons and tons of carbon:
There is a charge floating around out there that President Barack Obama knew in advance about the radical background of Van Jones before appointing him as his "green jobs czar." So where is this charge coming from? Glenn Beck? Nope. Fox News? Nope. This revelatory charge was made on the pages of the liberal San Francisco Chronicle in an article on the Jones resignation written by Joe Garofoli:
The middle-of-the-night resignation Sunday of longtime Bay Area activist Van Jones as a White House environmental adviser left many progressives angry at the Obama administration for buckling to conservative criticism of Jones' controversial past comments and actions.
...Supporters say the administration surely knew his background when they appointed Jones, the first African American to write a best-selling environmental book, as special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In fact, agents interviewed at least one of his former supervisors in San Francisco - Eva Paterson - when the FBI vetted his appointment.
As noted by John Stephenson of NewsBusters, much of the media has been ignoring the enormous Van Jones controversy. However, Joe Garofoli, the politics writer and blogger for Jones' hometown newspaper, the liberal San Francisco Chronicle, has just written about the toxic effect of Van Jones and who is standing by their Van and who isn't in his Politics blog:
The Bay Area's Van Jones -- the Special Advisor for Green Jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality -- just finished apologizing for calling Republicans "a-holes" when he got something else to start explaining: How his signature got on a 2004 petition asking for an immediate "inquiry into evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur." Van said he didn't carefully review the petition before signing it "certainly does not reflect my views now or ever."