On Thursday, the CBS Evening News seized on the deadly shooting of two local news reporters in Roanoke, Virginia to promote the idea that gun control should be treated like “a public health issue” akin to seat belts, airbags, and anti-smoking campaigns. In a tease early on in the program, fill-in anchor Maurice DuBois explained that “[s]ome public health officials say gun violence, just like car accidents and smoking-related illnesses can be prevented or at least reduced.”
On Friday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's evening newscasts all ignored how the Obama administration issued the latest version of its abortifacient/contraception mandate under ObamaCare, which ignores multiple court rulings against it – including the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling in 2014 – and again tries to force religious non-profits to fund drugs that they consider to be immoral. Instead, the Big Three programs all devoted over a minute and a half each to the ticker tape parade in New York City for the World Cup-winning U.S. national women's soccer team.
Secret police raids in Wisconsin targeted conservatives whose only crime seems to have been donating to conservative causes. Yet, the story, first reported in National Review, has been ignored by the networks. It was only Fox News that highlighted the story on Wednesday. Correspondent Trace Gallagher explained how Wisconsin's John Doe investigation allowed prosecutors to go after conservative groups, such as the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Then, it expanded to supporters.
On Tuesday afternoon, Brendan Bordelon of National Review Online (NRO) reported on the latest leaked email from Al Jazeera English that showed executive Carlos van Meek telling employees not to sure the terms “extremist,” “Islamist,” “militant,” and “terrorist” in their news coverage to “avoid characterizing people.”
Van Meek’s email came following a deadly shooting earlier in the day at a hotel in Libya that killed at least eight (including one American). Writing to the outlet’s New York and Washington newsrooms, van Meek felt that it was pertinent to “bring to your attention some key words that have a tendency of tripping us up” considering “[o]ne person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.”
Establishment press reporting has all too often been about perpetuating a narrative, even long after it has been proven false, than conveying facts and truth. Anyone arguing that 2014 has been one of the worst years ever for this growing trend won't get an argument here.
An Associated Press poll about the top stories of the year got responses from 85 editors at subscribing AP outlets. Although the top story named wasn't a surprise (disappointing, yes; surprise, no), the way the AP's David Crary wrote it up to support the proven-false "Hands up, don't shoot!" narrative on Monday was absolutely outrageous (bolds and numbered tags):
The "No More" TV advertisement blitz against domestic violence by professional athletes is obnoxious and reeks of political correctness. Exactly why does the public need to be indoctrinated about this, as if the audience for "Monday Night Football" is to blame? It's another reason to stop watching this sport.
But there is another reason to be opposed to this clearly political pressure campaign. In the current atmosphere, where even accusations of abuse are toxic public relations, what happens when a pro is falsely accused?
A specter is haunting conservatives, suggests Amanda Marcotte –- the specter of nerdiness. In a Wednesday article for AlterNet, Marcotte blasted the right’s supposed resentment of "things like evidence, rationality, and empiricism," as expressed in forums such as a recent National Review cover story critical of what its writer called America’s "extraordinarily puffed-up 'nerd' culture." In other words, black males whom conservatives dislike apparently include not just Barack Obama but also Steve Urkel.
Marcotte believes that the right has targeted nerds because their ideas "are a direct threat to the corporate and religious authorities who rightfully fear that evidence and reason could hurt [right-wingers’] profits and their hold on power." From Marcotte’s piece (emphasis added):
This morning the National Review's Eliana Johnson published jaw-dropping scoop about a Democratic strategy memo for Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, daughter of the former Peach State Democrat Sam Nunn. Among other juicy tidbits, Johnson relayed how "The campaign’s finance plan draws attention to the 'tremendous financial opportunity' in the Jewish community and identifies Jews as key fundraisers. It notes, however, that 'Michelle’s position on Israel will largely determine the level of support here.'"
So surely MSNBC's consummate political junkie Chris Matthews devoted significant attention to the development on tonight's Hardball, right? Not a chance, and this despite him devoting a full segment to handicapping the 2014 Senate races with Nia-Malika Henderson of the Washington Post and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report.
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.
Would right-wingers like a larger presence in mainstream news and entertainment media, or would they rather grumble about the MSM’s liberal bias while patronizing conservative media outlets? To American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman, it’s clear that the second is correct.
Waldman’s peg for his Wednesday post was a National Review piece by editor and publisher Adam Bellow on the need for a conservative counterculture that would produce novels, movies, music, and so on. Apropos of Bellow’s comment that it’s too bad righties have “hived ourselves off into our own politicized media bubble,” Waldman snipes that conservatives want very much to stay inside said bubble, even though it leaves them prone to “all kinds of pathological beliefs and behaviors.”
Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer made a very interesting and logical correlation Friday. The press has predictably failed to make the connection or even to relay Krauthammer's point, simply because it leads to the default assumption that conservatives were right on an important economic issue.
To be clear, the point Krauthammer and National Review Online's Robert Stein made on Thursday isn't directly provable. But the fact that an acceleration in job growth and a significant reduction in the unemployment rate have occurred in the six months since extended unemployment benefits expired is hard to explain away as some kind of lucky coincidence — especially given the endless blather of "weather" excuses the press and the administration have made about the economy in general since early this year. Video and a transcript follow the jump.
Paul Whitefield "is a 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles Times who is copy chief of the editorial pages and a writer/scold for the Opinion L.A. blog." He also has a serious but far from unique case of Bush (and Cheney) Derangement Syndrome and an extraordinary ignorance of the history of last decade's war in Iraq, which included a victory in 2008 the U.S. press, with rare exceptions, refused to recognize.
Clueless Paul, in a Thursday post, claimed that what has happened recently in Iraq proves (italics are his) that "the invasion ... in 2003 wasn’t a very good idea" Admitting that "I don’t know how these things keep sneaking up on us" (I can help you with that, Paul), he petulantly wrote: "Send Mr. (George W.) Bush and Mr. (Dick) Cheney over there and let them try to negotiate a solution," because "they’re the ones who created this mess in the first place." Well no, Paul. Excerpts from Whitefield's work, followed by a pointed riposte from a National Review op-ed, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):