Much of the press is describing the EU's demand that Cyprus seize a portion of bank account holders' deposits, a demand rejected yesterday by the island nation's legislature, as a "tax."
I think it's reasonable to suggest that this characterization is designed to minimize the frightening authoritarianism the EU has just attempted. In a bit of a pleasant surprise, one organization openly calling the move an attempt at "seizure" is the Associated Press.
NewsBusters continues to showcase the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala on Thursday, September 27.
Click here for blog posts recounting the worst of 1988 through 2006. Today, the worst bias of 2007: ABC fawns over newly-installed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; Rosie O’Donnell insults the troops; and a McClatchy headline writer finds a downside to good news in Iraq. [Quotes and video below the jump.]
File the news in this report filed late yesterday afternoon by Michael Calderone and John Cook at Yahoo's Upshot Blog under "D" for Double Standards:
White House reporters mum on Obama lunch, even as papers back transparency
White House reporters are keeping quiet about an off-the-record lunch today with President Obama — even those at news organizations who've advocated in the past for the White House to release the names of visitors.
But the identities of the lunch's attendees won't remain secret forever: Their names will eventually appear on the White House's periodically updated public database of visitor logs.
... The Obama White House began posting the logs in order to settle a lawsuit, begun under the Bush administration, from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which sought the Secret Service's White House visitor logs under the Freedom of Information Act.
... And guess who filed briefs supporting that argument? Virtually every newspaper that covers the White House.
Karen Nelson of the Biloxi Sun Herald wrote a report picked up by McClatchy Newspapers about the incredible level of frustration felt by the people living along the Gulf of Mexico over the severe lack of skimmers available in that region to combat the BP oil spill. She went into detail explaining the anger felt by the Gulf residents over the fact that few skimmers are cleaning up the oil. However, one thing that seems to be mostly ignored, except in passing, is WHY so few skimmers are currently in the Gulf.
First the frustration felt over by the Gulf residents:
GULFPORT, Miss. — A morning flight over the Mississippi Sound showed long, wide ribbons of orange-colored oil for as far as the eye could see and acres of both heavy and light sheen moving into the Sound between the barrier islands. What was missing was any sign of skimming operations from Horn Island to Pass Christian.
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...
As the Obama-loving media continue their predictable victory lap following the passage of vastly unpopular healthcare reform, a state of mass confusion about how the bill impacts John and Jane Q. Public grips the nation.
"Questions reflecting confusion have flooded insurance companies, doctors' offices, human resources departments and business groups," wrote McClatchy's Margaret Talev Tuesday.
"'They're saying, "Where do we get the free Obama care, and how do I sign up for that?" said Carrie McLean, a licensed agent for eHealthInsurance.com. The California-based company sells coverage from 185 health insurance carriers in 50 states."
And those were just the first surprises from the historically liberal news outlet (h/t NB reader Tom 'Not the Actor' Hanks):
Kudos to William Douglas of McClatchy newspapers. That reporter can write and file stories with amazing speed. One such story was this article that Douglas filed about the March 20 Tea Party protest in Washington, D.C. where racial slurs were supposedly hurled. Jack Cashill of American Thinker was so impressed with the speed in which Douglas wrote his story that he wrote this American Thinker blog about this feat accompanied by a video. Here is Cashill as he observes with awe how quickly Douglas wrote his McClatchy story:
...I checked with my source on the scene, Greg Farrell, to get a timeline on the passage of the Black Caucus members from the Cannon Building to the Capitol and back. According to Farrell, they left the Cannon Building about 2:30 PM on March 20th and returned about 3:15 PM. He had no reason to exaggerate.
I asked because at 4:51 that same day, McClatchy reporter William Douglas posted an article on the McClatchy website with the inflammatory headline, "Tea party protesters scream 'nigger' at black congressman."
In other words, Douglas, with an attributed assist from James Rosen, managed to interview representatives John Lewis, Emanuel Cleaver, and Barney Frank, compose an 800-word article, and have it edited and formatted for posting within a 90-minute window.
With the demise of the Editor and Publisher this week, many media commentators are nostalgic for the hard-nosed trade journalism the newspaper industry publication often engaged in. E&P's strength was always in its core mission of reporting news industry trends. In its latter years, like a number of other outlets, it began to stray off-course into garden-variety, hypocritical leftist media criticism.
Greg Mitchell, E&P's editor since 2002, consistently called for newspapers to print more opinion in their coverage of major world events. Most notably during the Israel-Hamas conflict early this year, Mitchell lamented that media outlets were not taking sides.
"[A]fter more than eight days of Israeli bombing and Hamas rocket launching in Gaza, The New York Times had produced exactly one editorial, not a single commentary by any of its columnists, and two op-eds," he complained at the Huffington Post.
Would anybody at the ailing McClatchy Newspapers care to point out to us even the slightest hint of neutrality in the reporting of two correspondents for that chain, Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel, on former Vice President Dick Cheney's speech yesterday about terrorism? You sort of get the idea where these two are coming from just by reading the title of their report: "Cheney's speech contained omissions, misstatements." And in case you still haven't figured out their biases, Landay and Strobel hammer it home again in the first paragraph:
WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Dick Cheney's defense Thursday of the Bush administration's policies for interrogating suspected terrorists contained omissions, exaggerations and misstatements.
The rest of the report sounds like it came straight from a DNC talking points memo as written by Lawrence O'Donnell. In fact you could almost hear them echoing O'Donnell's unhinged scream in the background which you can see in bold:
One measure of how far newspapers in general and McClatchy newspapers in particular have fallen is a mock newspaper front page (image below the fold) created by workers at the Raleigh News & Oberver making fun of their McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt (photo). Pruitt, who went on a disastrous spending spree a few years ago buying up doomed newspapers, including the Miami Herald, is widely credited for bringing McClatchy newspapers to the brink of financial collapse.
This issue of the mock News & Observer front page was published in honor of the 31 employees who were released from their jobs yesterday. The publication was professionally produced and features a photo of many of the released employees waving goodbye from the roof of the News & Obrserver.
The headline of the mock front page states: "We'll get off at this next port, please."
Below, the subhead continues the thought: "But Do Enjoy The Rest Of The Voyage---Mind The Icebergs."
Talk about a divorced from reality headline! Check out this McClatchy Newspapers headline: "Liberal TV Host Rachel Maddow Works for Civility." The article itself, dateline Los Angeles by Rick Bentley, follows the lead of its fawning headline:
MSNBC boasts Maddow has become the network's first program to beat CNN talker Larry King in more than a dozen years.
Maddow had been hosting her own show for just over four months when she sat down to talk at the Universal Hilton. This wasn't a chat about politics. It's all about her.
Stand by now for the money quote and please put down your coffee cup while reading it or risk a drenched computer screen:
MacsMind's post is in response to an all-too-predictable gusher delivered by Democratic operative disguised as Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven on April 7 (bold is mine):
Cheered wildly by U.S. troops, President Barack Obama flew unannounced into Iraq on Tuesday and promptly declared it was time for Iraqis to "take responsibility for their country" after America's commitment of six years and thousands of lives.
"You have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country," the president said as he made a brief inspection of a war he opposed as candidate and now vows to end as commander in chief. "That is an extraordinary achievement."
MacsMind contends that the troop contingent was contrived, based on an e-mail he says he received "from a sergeant that was there." The corresponding sergeant also dropped a telltale clue (in bold):
Has McClatchy ever had any headlines like this: "Those Crazy Kennedys"? After all, there is a wealth of craziness with that demented clan. Or since we recently had Obama's half brother denied a visa to England over his rape charges -- not to mention his illegal immigrant aunt -- how about a headline like this: "Those Crazy Obamas"? Did we ever see a headline about "Those Crazy Clintons" when we discovered all the financial misdeeds and drug busts of Hillary and Bill's extended family? How about Carter? Did good ol' Billy Carter ever cause McClatchy to say "Those Crazy Carters"?
What is the result of an incredibly fawning newspaper puff piece about a new senator in which the subject of the story displays her supposed independence from President Barack Obama by voting for every piece of his legislation? An extremely hilarious demolishment of the story by an astute blogger. Such was the case with McClatchy Newspapers reporter Barbara Barrett whose puff piece article about new North Carolina senator, Kay Hagan, was amusingly demolished by blogger Bane Windlow of Carolina Politics Online. To get the full flavor of Windlow's demolishment of Barrett, I will place his comments in [brackets] following Barrett's over the top puffery. You can tell where reporter Barrett is coming from just by reading the first paragraph of her paean to Senator Hagan trying passing itself off as an authentic news story:
The Democrats' newest female star senator, Kay Hagan, surged into office last fall, swinging on the coattails of Barack Obama and his progressive message of change.
The Obama White House is serving as a convenient new employer for members of the media as news outlets downsize, but would they have felt so comfortable coming aboard a GOP President's staff? The latest hires: Three news photographers -- from Time magazine, Cox Newspapers and U.S. News & World Report magazine -- are joining the team of photographers snapping pictures at events and meetings in and around the White House complex.
The chief White House photographer, Pete Souza, “announced the hires to PDN,” DCRTV.com reported Thursday in picking up the item from the week before on the Photo District News site. Souza had already tapped photographers from the McClatchy-Tribune News Service and the Associated Press.
Mark Levin mentioned a report by McClatchy's Steven Thomma tonight on his show. When I heard Levin read from it, I assumed that when I went to the web page that McClatchy would label it as "analysis," or "background," or something similar.
Nope. Apparently, it's supposed to be a straight news story.
Thomma writes as if world peace and civility were salvaged because President Obama supposedly brokered an agreement on an important matter. It wasn't a treaty, which would require ratification by the Senate. It was a (non-binding) pact, "calling for" certain things. And the thing that was the hang-up was (I'm not really typing this, am I?) whether or not certain tax havens, which everyone who needs to know about already is fully aware of, should have their names published in an attempt to shame them. Not the names of the people taking advantage of the havens, just the havens themselves.
As fellow NewsBuster Noel Sheppard would say, "I kid you not."
In a like vein as the story I posted a few days ago showing Reuters helping cover for Obama by lowering expectations, a trio of stories -- two from McClatchy and one from the AP -- prove to be little more than empty Obama boostering with little worth as news, though the AP piece at least comes close to being newsworthy. Unfortunately, this is the sort of empty reporting that has become du jour for the Old Media. It's the media's covering for the Clinton's all over again, yet 10-times more intense.
The late Mr. Blackwell could have gotten a job as a political reporter for McClatchy newspapers. Should you doubt this assessment, then check out this McClatchy newspapers report about Barack Obama written by Halimah Abdullah which was described by McClatchy Watch as sounding like a cross between GQ and Teen magazine. A video showing Obama "Yes We Can" power ties was even included at the top of the story. You won't find a trace of political analysis in the story by this political reporter but it is chock full of fashion:
WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama radiates a certain stylistic sophistication that's at once Kennedyesque in its reverence for clean-cut, American style and modern in its confident embrace of a look that's both effortless and urbane.
Just as President John F. Kennedy's affinity for looser two-button suits and his eschewing of hats revolutionized 20th-century menswear, Obama's post-baby boom approach to work wear — worn with hip-hop generation self-assurance — could transform how Americans view presidential fashion in the 21st century.
The McClatchy publishing company is more and more beginning to resemble an isolated bunker in the final stages of Götterdämmerung as ugly reality, such as their 99% stock price plunge, closes in on both fronts. Inside the bunker a leader is screaming madly, conjuring up phantom armies to ward off the unpleasant facts facing his company. However, in this case their ranting leader in the bunker isn't McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt who is probably already quietly contemplating his permanent exile with his surfboard off the coast of Satellite Beach but Howard Weaver (photo), the outgoing VP of News at that company. So what set off this latest outburst in the closing act of the Twilight of the Clods? According to McClatchy Watch, it was a Web post by Jeff Jarvis at the Buzz Machine commenting on the fiscal woes of the newspaper industry including McClatchy:
Employees of McClatchy publishing in Iraq were in an unusually good mood recently. The occasion was the aftermath of the Iraqi journalist who tossed his shoes at President Bush at a press conference in Baghdad as you can see in these quotes from Inside Iraq, a blog for McClatchy journalists working in that country. The first quote was from McClatchy employee, "Laith," who was talking about his colleagues and the rest of the quotes were from commentors who may or may not be employed by McClatchy:
Some of the guys were happy and they were talking about the bravery of the journalist who threw his shoes at the American president. When I tried to explain my opinion, I was trying to tell the guys that I don't agree with the way the journalist behaved, but I was attacked by them. One of them said "come on Laith, Bush destroyed Iraq". Another said "he deserves more" while a third one said "he is an occupier." I tried to tell to tell they guys that this is an inslut for Maliki.
The "Shoe heard round the world" was an important symbolic event. I felt his action was appropriate and restrained considering the circumstances.
I applauded this act. I don't care that it is rude. Why are we concerned about etiquette when a country was destroyed? Did Bush ever apologize to the Iraqis for the hundreds of thousands of dead? Bush is an occupier, a clown pretending to be a hero, so enclosed in his own little self-certain world he probably was surprised an Iraqi could be that angry. I am not surprised. I am only surprised such a thing did not happen earlier.
Last week, the Detroit Free Press's Web site posted "Which books would Palin want to ban?," a column by syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. Pitts begins with a series of possible questions for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Then he makes his point:
My first question, though, would not be one of those. I'd simply ask which books she wants to ban -- and why.
Yes, there's a list of titles floating around the Internet right now, but it's a fake. It is, however, established fact that our would-be vice president has in the past tried to pull books off library shelves.
On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?
TRUMP: I really don't know Senator Biden but I know one thing. He's run a number of times for president. He's gotten less than 1 percent of the vote each time. And that's a pretty tough thing. You know, he's also been involved in pretty big controversy like plagiarism in college and various other things. That's a pretty big statement. So perhaps you change over a period of time. But when you plagiarize, that's a very bad statement. That hasn't been brought up yet, but I'm sure at some point it will. I'm sure that Sarah Palin will bring it up in a debate or somebody's going to bring it up.
BLITZER: Are you talking about plagiarism when he was running for president?
TRUMP: No, I'm talking about when he was a college student as I understand it, and this was a big issue originally but he supposedly plagiarized as a college student. That's a pretty serious charge.
BLITZER: I don't remember that. We'll check it out. But maybe you obviously have a better memory about that.
You... yes, you reading this right now. McClatchy wants you to know you are mean to them, your mistrust of them is merely egged on by a sly political tactic, and you fall for it because you only get your news from an "ideologically tailored" source. In other words, they are telling you that you are misinformed, mean-spirited, easily led... well, they are telling you that you are stupid. And then they wonder why people don't trust them!
In "McCain campaign systematically targets the news media," McClatchy writers Steven Thomma and Margaret Talev decided to try and explain why the Republicans are attacking the media with their basic conclusion being that it is an unfair convention that the GOP has employed at least since Spiro T. Agnew (of "Nattering nabobs of negativity" fame) was VP. But, despite the truth staring them in the face, they explain away the ire Americans have with the Old Media.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
Rarely do the media put their institutional political bias on public display, but this past weekend, America's news industry titans left no doubt that they're fully behind one of the nation's most radical cultural and political movements.
ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the corporate owners of USA Today, the Miami Herald, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Sacramento Bee, The Dallas Morning News and many other newspapers, all spent thousands of dollars sponsoring the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association convention in Washington, D.C. Many journalists from these Big Media mainstays attended or spoke at the convention.
In the name of "diversity," all the organizations listed above ran recruiting booths, as did NPR. Thus, the nation's major news providers demonstrated that they have bought into the central proposition of homosexual activists: that people engaging in homosexuality or bisexuality, along with transsexuals, are a historically oppressed minority group deserving the same preferential treatment and legal protections that society provides to ethnic minorities and women.
Rush Limbaugh's new deal with Clear Channel, as flashed by Drudge (also covered or addressed here and here at NewsBusters; here at the New York Times; and here in a very long New York Times magazine article), is north of $400 million for the next eight years.
Good tax planning too: Maharushie will get his reported nine-figure signing bonus this year before a possible President Obama does his hundreds of billions in damage. Limbaugh's tax savings, if the bonus is $100 million and Obama gets everything he wants, would be a hair under $17 mil (12.4% Social Security on all but $148,000, plus the 4.6% planned increase in the top rate).
One conclusion you can reach, based on what newspaper industry watcher Newsosaur told us earlier this week, is that Old Media covering the Limbaugh story is like zombies covering the living (link in excerpt was in original):
The word first popped up in a big way in the 2004 election to explain John Kerry's flip-flops on the issues. See, according to the liberals when a Democrat flip-flops it is really a matter of perception. He hasn't really changed his views since they are "nuanced." And if we think he has flip-flopped that is only because we yahoos just aren't enlightened enough to understand the complicated "nuance." This word has been resurrected again by McClatchy writer, Margaret Talev, to explain Barack Obama's recent flip-flops.
Talev does a good job explaining why some of us unenlightened types might perceive Obama's recent dramatic shifts on the issues as flip-flops:
From the beginning, Barack Obama's special appeal was his vow to remain an idealistic outsider, courageous and optimistic, and never to shift his positions for political expediency, or become captive of the Inside-the-Beltway intelligentsia, or kiss up to special interests and big money donors.
In recent weeks, though, Obama has done all those things.
McClatchy Newspapers won the MRC’s 2008 Dan Rather Award for the Stupidest Analysis for its article spinning the success of the troop surge in Iraq as bad news for Iraqi gravediggers. Apparently the editors are aiming for a repeat performance at next year’s program.
In his June 26 article, writer Stephen Thomma, on the recently released debate proposal by the Commission on Presidential Debates, found a stature problem for the Illinois senator should he agree to sit-down townhall debates.
Here’s the relevant excerpt from "Under Debate Plan, Obama Loses Height Advantage":
Obama conceded that he has a steep challenge to get his message and background to voters in states such as Kentucky — where he trails Sen. Hillary Clinton by 27 points, according to a poll published earlier this week — and West Virginia, where voters chose Clinton over Obama by 40 points on Tuesday.
"What it says is that I'm not very well known in that part of the country," Obama said. "Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas. So it's not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle."
Trouble is, as a look at a US map (with territories) shows, Arkansas may be "nearby," but Obama's home state of Illinois is "adjacent":