Media Scandals

By Ken Shepherd | February 28, 2013 | 1:30 PM EST

In a 19-paragraph story today, Washington Post staff writer Paul Farhi took a look at how various newspapers around the country are backing away from their initial requests for public records of gun owners. "For the third time in as many months, a newspaper has faced an angry backlash, including threats of violence, after it sought government data on local gun permit holders," Farhi noted. "In the two most recent instances, the newspapers rescinded requests for the documents amid the outcry, with one issuing an abject apology to its readers and the local sheriff for daring to seek the information in the first place," he griped.

In a time when the print newspaper is an endangered species, you'd think Farhi might present the story with the angle being how liberal papers are shooting themselves in the feet with stunts that harm their advertising revenue and subscription base. But no, the thrust of Farhi's piece is how newspapers are cowering away from doing their job. To make this point, Farhi turned to journalism professor Geneva Overholser, who perhaps is most infamous for her call eight years ago for newspapers to identify alleged rape victims (emphasis mine):

By Ken Shepherd | February 20, 2013 | 6:36 PM EST

Taken to task by numerous individuals on Twitter yesterday -- see Twitchy's excellent roundup here -- Fox News Channel The Five liberal co-host Bob Beckel today sought to explain, if not actually apologize for, his comments on the February 19  program in which the panel's token liberal both suggested campus rapes were rare incidents and that college co-eds might accidentally shoot someone who was not really a rapist:

By Tim Graham | February 12, 2013 | 8:31 AM EST

Obama fans in my neck of the woods in Northern Virginia received an e-mail from the Organizing for America team inviting them to a State of the Union watch party in suburban Centreville, Virginia.

A quick Google of the Centreville address shows that there’s a famous/infamous resident of the Obama watch-party house: Jayson Blair, the disgraced former New York Times reporter.

By Ken Shepherd | January 18, 2013 | 3:35 PM EST

While the mainstream media has been transfixed with the Manti Te'o fake girlfriend story, it seems many outlets in the gullible liberal media were biting on another hoax, this one involving Florida Gov. Rick Scott and a band of Satanists supposedly set to stage a rally expressing their support for the Florida Republican.

Among the journalists taken in by the fake story was MSNBC's Martin Bashir, who could not wipe the devilish grin off his face as he reported what he thought to be a legitimate news story on his January 14 program, in a segment entitled "Dread Scott." [MP3 audio here; video embedded below]

By Tom Blumer | January 18, 2013 | 9:53 AM EST

Another home included in an interactive map of gun permit holders published by the Lower Hudson Valley’s Journal News shortly before Christmas has been burglarized. This time, according to the related report at Newsday, "The thieves ransacked the house Wednesday night, breaking into two safes on the home's third floor and stealing a third safe." The third safe, in what was either an amazing coincidence or yet another direct result of the interactive map’s publication, is the one which contained the homeowners' guns. Imagine that.

More details from Timothy O'Connor's Newsday report, wherein officials compete to distance the crime from the map, follow the jump.

By Tom Blumer | January 15, 2013 | 11:46 AM EST

The Lower Hudson Valley's Journal News based in White Plains, New York has been very tight-lipped since it published an interactive map showing the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties. The Washington Post's Erik Wemple reports that the paper has hired "a Manhattan public relations, marketing and government affairs firm" whose job appears to involve denying interview requests and issuing "no comment" statements.

Predictably, the one media outlet which has been granted access by the Journal News is the New York Times, whose Christine Haughney filed a report on January 6. In that dispatch, she quoted Dwight R. Worley, the "tax reporter" who cooked up the idea of publishing the map, putting forth the following defense of his handiwork: "The people have as much of a right to know who owns guns in their communities as gun owners have to own weapons." How disingenuous, as will be seen after the jump.

By Tom Blumer | January 5, 2013 | 8:11 AM EST

Many of those who expressed outrage at the publication of a two-county interactive map of pistol permit owners by Gannett's White Plains, New York-based Journal News just before Christmas have raised serious concerns that the paper's action would directly harm law-abiding citizens. Evidence is pouring in that those fears are legitimate.

Fox News, doing something the wire services should have been begun within days of the map's publication, has unsurprisingly found that "Reformed crooks say the New York newspaper ... did a great service – to their old cronies in the burglary trade." Additionally, a Newsday report identifies four concrete examples of negative impact: "Inmates are taunting corrections officers" at an area jail; one of the counties' sheriffs says that it's "hurting law enforcement as a whole"; a Rockland County Democratic legislator who currently doesn't own a gun says "he now fears for his safety" and will get one; and a divorced woman who says her ex-husband tried to strangle her is worried that "now he can find me." Excerpts from the two news reports follow the jump.

By Tom Blumer | January 3, 2013 | 1:10 PM EST

On New Year's Day, perhaps before he learned that his current employer's enterprise would be sold to Al Jazeera, Current TV's David Shuster took to the bandwidth of the Huffington Post to ask that former NBC/MSNBC colleague David Gregory apologize for his December 23 gun magazine-waving stunt on Meet the Press.

Get a load of the sense of self-importance Shuster gives the Sunday news show (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | November 25, 2012 | 9:34 AM EST

The third page of an unbylined report with an early Saturday time stamp credited to "USA Today" carried at the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion Ledger (like USAT, a Gannett Company) claimed that "Walmart heiress Alice Walton expressed solidarity with Walmart's striking workers."

Putting aside whether or not an action taken by what the company estimated may have been fifty associates is a "strike" or a "temper tantrum," the claim was not true. USA Today fell for a hoax. Following the jump are several paragraphs from the Clarion Ledger report and an LA Times writeup identifying the hoax. Additionally, I learned that Alice Walton's Crystal Bridges Museum was the object of Occupy and union movement protests when it opened a year ago.

By Tom Blumer | November 18, 2012 | 9:43 PM EST

A video at CNN with reporting by Sara Sidner from Gaza tells us "how a small child became a symbol of civilian casualties." Some of her narrative: "A scene no parent should ever have to endure"; "Four year-old Mahmoud Sadallah lies dead in the arms of a neighbor, a child of Gaza, another victim of an airstrike"; "we saw no evidence here of military activity." There's even a scene where Ms. Sidner reports having to flee where she is currently reporting because "there are airstrikes" and "rockets." Since Hamas doesn't have an air force, we're supposed to assume that Israel's military is responsible for Mahmoud's death.

Except, as Joel Pollak at Breitbart noted this morning, others have shown that Sidner wants us to believe isn't the truth (bolds are mine throughout this post; links are in originals presented):

By Tom Blumer | November 18, 2012 | 10:51 AM EST

In her "Sunday Roundup" post at the site which bears her last name, Arianna Huffington supported that notion that "This week, America finally began questioning the judgment of its generals," but lamented that the scrutiny is over "sexual conduct rather than military conduct."

Fine, that's her opinion. But what's really odd is that she apparently thought that referencing a headline found at the Onion would be seen by readers as meaningful support for her argument (HT to a NewsBusters tipster):

By Brent Bozell | November 13, 2012 | 11:10 PM EST

Mark Thompson, a former director-general of the British Broadcasting Corporation, began his new job Monday as president and CEO of The New York Times. The lack of embarrassment was remarkable. Thompson claimed he was the worst kind of ignorant buffoon, knowing nothing about the massive sex-abuse scandal – and then its censorship – that’s rocking the BBC.

Scotland Yard has been conducting a criminal investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by the late disc jockey and TV personality Jimmy Savile over six decades, describing him as a "predatory sex offender.” In mid-October, the metropolitian police stated they were pursuing over 400 lines of inquiry based on the testimony of 300 potential victims. Chris Patten, the head of the BBC’s government body called it “this great tsunami of filth.” BBC’s “Newsnight” was about to broadcast an expose last December – but BBC bosses spiked it, and incredibly, aired Christmas tributes to Savile instead.