Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan are Democrats. Is it okay to write that? Apparently, it's not in an establishment media report, based on the last six months of coverage of these two corrupt Pennsylvania judges.
In February (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the Associated Press ran a story about two Pennsylvania judges "charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers," and and initially told readers that "Both are Democrats."
But AP removed the judges' party affiliation from a subsequent version of the story (graphic proof comes later in the post), even though the later rendition added many other details in the case. This of course begged the question of why AP did what they did, especially since the wire service's Stylebook says the following about identifying party affiliation:
In today’s L.A. Times director Oliver Stone discusses his upcoming documentary “South of the Border,” about the “warmhearted” Hugo Chavez. [emphasis added]:
Oliver Stone is shown warmly embracing Hugo Chávez, nibbling coca leaves with Evo Morales and gently teasing Cristina Elizabeth Fernández de Kirchner about how many pairs of shoes she owns. …
“I think he’s an extremely dynamic and charismatic figure. He’s open and warmhearted and big, and a fascinating character,” … ”But when I go back to the States I keep hearing these horror stories about ‘dictator,’ ‘bad guy,’ ‘menace to American society.’ I think the project started as something about the American media demonizing Latin leaders.
Guys like Stone are forced to rationalize that the American media is right-leaning in order to avoid their head exploding due to an acute case of FacingTheTruth-itosis. But maybe the doc will be more critical than we’re led to believe in this article. During their warm embrace, it’s possible Stone whispered hard-hitting questions in Hugo’s ear about reports such as this from the not-so-conservative Human Rights Watch.
Some of us have been wondering how viable the Voluntary Employee Benefit Arrangements (VEBAs) set up by the United Auto Workers for its auto industry employees really are. This is of particular concern at the VEBAs tied in to General Motors and Chrysler. What happens to the employer stock these VEBAs own will heavily influence whether they have the money to pay promised benefits.
The answer to the viability question must be "not very," because the House version of health care that has made it out of committee has a $10 billion provision tucked into it that would largely work to back the VEBAs up in case GM and Chrysler are never able to stand on their own -- or in case other high-wage, high-benefit companies, many of which are unionized, follow them into serious financial difficulty.
Maybe it's because $10 billion doesn't mean much any more in an era of trillion-dollar deficits, but media coverage of this "little" provision has been very, very light. A Google News search on "retiree health care UAW" (not typed in quotes) came back with only about 25 relevant items of roughly 100 total results earlier this afternoon. Many of those results are outraged editorials and op-eds. There is precious little original news coverage of the topic.
One of the few examples of original coverage is an August 24 report by Justin Hyde and Todd Spangler of the Detroit Free Press that explains the provision and provides background:
Julia Seymour, Kyle Drennen, and several others at NewsBusters have done a great job (here and here, here, and here, just for starters) exposing the establishment media's rush to characterize the government's Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program, commonly known as "Cash for Clunkers" program, a success. This media meme has persisted despite processing snafus, slow payments to dealers, dealer opt-outs, market distortions, and less than perfect disclosure of sales and income tax consequences to buyers.
Of course, as far as the media's cheerleaders are concerned, the problems have made the program not a case study in bureaucratic weakness, but instead "a victim of its own success."
But Cash for Clunkers has indeed been an unqualified success in one important sense I don't expect the media will be too keen on reporting. The program's results have exposed just how weak the market positions of bailed-out General Motors and Chrysler really are.
"It feels a bit like 9/11 on Martha's Vineyard. End-of-summer weather is achingly beautiful but the mood is melancholy because of Teddy." [click image at right to see larger image of screen capture]
Thus wrote Matt Cooper, editor of Conde Nast Portfolio on his Twitter page a few hours ago. The former Time magazine White House correspondent, who also writes for Huffington Post, walked back his statement a bit later after some criticism from other Twitter users:
Didn't mean to equate Teddy's death with the murders of 9/11. Only meant small similarity: beautiful weather, tragic feel. HT @thetonylee
Cooper followed that with two other tweets to JP Freire of the Washington Examiner and Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher magazine, respectively:
Are social networking websites like Facebook negatively impacting people's ability to effectively communicate with each other?
As adults -- including members of the news media!!! -- begin acting like their text message-crazed children, mightn't the very way they convey thoughts and ideas be changed forever...and not for the better?
Such seems counterintuitive as Americans across the fruited plain electronically reunite with old classmates and people they haven't seen in decades.
Yet, according to the Wall Street Journal's Elizabeth Bernstein, such connections come with risks as you may find out more about someone than you bargained for...and much too frequently (h/t Alan Murray):
Using a "clever" headline, LiveScience.com, in a report carried at Yahoo News, tries to give those who will only see the headline the impression that Americans are a bunch of dummies who don't understand what's good for them:
Majority of Americans Believe Health Care Reform 'Myths'
Yes, the word "myths" is in quotes, but the reader is left to assume that a credible outfit must be asserting what those "myths" are. But it's actually that less than credible outfit known as "the Obama White House," which claims that those who don't swallow their assertions are subscribing to "myths." The reality is that President Barack Obama and his apparatchiks continue to peddle a set of long-disproved assertions about the kind of health care plan he and the Democratic Congress intend to make law.
The good news is that the American people aren't buying most of what Obama et al are selling:
Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades HQ has a great "name that party" catch today. Malor noted that at least three major news outlets all failed to note the high-powered Democratic Party ties of one Hassan Nemazee, a businessman arrested this morning on a charge of bank fraud against Citigroup:
On Sunday evening, NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard highlighted a health care-related story from the Canadian Press (CP), which is that country's rough equivalent to the USA's Associated Press.
It appears that the CP is more open to reporting inconvenient news than is "our" AP, judging from a report earlier that day by the CP's Jennifer Graham. In an interview with Graham, the incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association said that the supposedly idyllic wonderland known as Canadian medical care is in deep trouble. Lo and behold, Graham actually reported it:
The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country's health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.
Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country - who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting - recognize that changes must be made.
The story of his passing is here. Brent Baker's tribute to this true exemplar of journalism is here.
Here, in my view, the most direct measure of the man: He never forgot those who worked with him (and I suspect that was the case for those who worked for him).
Proof: He and his partner Rowland Evans were responsible for the Evans-Novak Political Report until Evans died in 2001. Novak never renamed the newsletter.
Wikipedia says of Evans: "He was known best for his decades-long syndicated column and television partnership with Robert Novak, a partnership that endured, if only by way of a joint subscription newsletter, until Evans's death."
But Novak obviously didn't believe that the partnership dissolved when Evans died.
The news isn't just that self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals nationwide. That's old hat. The big news from Gallup is that conservatives outnumber liberals in every state in the union, including supposedly uberliberal Vermont and Massachusetts.
If you only read the Associated Press, New York Times, and Washington Post obituaries of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who died last Tuesday at age 88, you would have no idea that she was one of the last of the old Guard, pro-life Democrats who went down fighting in 1992.
That was when the party's presidential nomination of Bill Clinton moved the party firmly into the pro-abort camp, a position from which it has never returned. Barack Obama's presence in the White House virtually guarantees that Democrats in most quarter will either condone, support, and in some cases even celebrate the 1,000,000-plus unborn infants who perish each year.
That was not where Ms. Shriver stood, as many prolife publications noted shortly after she died. The Catholic News Agency obituary called her "distinctively Catholic," recounting that she was "an early supporter of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. She and her husband also supported Democrats for Life of America and Feminists for Life."
Life News recounted three key moments when Shriver demonstrated her pro-life commitment:
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's recent Wall Street Journal op-ed may well have been "in bad taste", ABCNews.com would have its readers believe (see screen cap at right).
Emily Friedman devoted an August 14 story mainly to liberal Whole Foods patrons huffing and puffing in disgust about Mackey's op-ed:
Joshua has been taking the bus to his local Whole Foods in New York City every five days for the past two years. This week, he said he'll go elsewhere to fulfill his fresh vegetable and organic produce needs.
"I will never shop there again," vowed Joshua, a 45-year-old blogger, who asked that his last name not be published.
The 10-paragraph entry by Havana-based news producer Portia Siegelbaum amounted to an electronic birthday card for the Communist dictator.
No Castro critics, domestic or foreign, were cited in the story, although Siegelbaum made sure to note how a "U.S.-based religious group, Pastors for Peace" got to hang out on Wednesday with the aging despot.
Yet Siegelbaum failed to note the leftist political bent of Pastors for Peace, describing it merely as "an anti-embargo organization." The Web site for Pastors for Peace, a project of the Interreligious Foundation for -- wait for it -- Community Organization (IFCO), insists that its purpose is:
Topside Update, 2:15 p.m.: Imagine that -- Roxana Mayer was also an Organizing For America "host" during the Texas primary last year.
Anyone visiting here even semi-regularly knows that the establishment media consistently fails to determine the legitimacy of people who "say the right things." Further, when someone else, often a blogger, digs and finds the truth, the reporters and publications involved may sometimes grudgingly acknowledge it, but even then usually incompletely; and more often than not, they won't give credit where due.
This all-too-typical scenario has played out in the past two days in the case of a certain Roxana Mayer. In two posts (here and here), LA-area blogger Patterico, best known for his relentless skewering of the target-rich environment known as the Los Angeles Times, exposed Ms. Mayer, who claimed to be a doctor when she spoke at a town hall meeting held by Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (and who later hugged her, as seen at the top right), as a leftist fraud.
As Patterico noted in the title of his second post, Mayer's mantra ought to be "I’m Not a Doctor But I Play One at Town Hall Meetings." Patterico also showed that Mayer was also a Texas Obama delegate at last year's Democratic Convention.
At first, the Houston Chronicle took Mayer's word that she is a doctor, failed to investigate her bona fides, and reported the following:
Someone forgot to send the CNN health care kool-aid over to the office of Fortune editor at large Shawn Tully in the days leading up to July 24. Tully in turn forgot to toot his own horn, and ObamaCare opponents forgot to take a peek inside what is normally enemy lines to find it.
In a must-read special report at affiliate CNNMoney.com, Tully lays bare Barack Obama's core claim, while identifying five freedoms many Americans will lose if ObamaCare passes in its current form. In fact, Tully's piece is so good, it should be the equivalent of Betsy McCaughey's 1994 broadside that helped torpedo HillaryCare -- if only people knew about it.
Anyone who knows the e-mail address of CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, who, as Matthew Balan of NewsBusters noted earlier today, is an ardent ObamaCare defender, should forward Tully's column to her. Copies to Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Howard Kurtz, and many others at CNN wouldn't hurt either.
Here are the introductory paragraphs and key points Tully made (bolds in text are mine):
What follows is not meant in any way to make light of a literally life-and-death issue. It is instead meant to perhaps (we can always hope) drill a little truth into the thick heads of the establishment media's alleged "journalists" who continue to refuse to see what's right in front of them in ObamaCare (or in many cases to even read the legislation in the first place).
You see, abortion coverage in ObamaCare is analogous to the pasta afficionado's expected set of ingredients in Prego Spaghetti Sauce, as presented in this popular 1984 commercial -- that is, "It's in there."
On Sunday, in an alleged "Fact Check" piece on ObamaCare, the Associated Press tried to pretend abortion coverage isn't in there. Two days later, prodded by Steven Ertelt at LifeNews.com and others in the pro-life community, the wire service specifically backtracked and admitted that yes, it's in there ("Gov't insurance would allow coverage for abortion").
Now it's Stephanie Condon of CBS who is pretending that abortion coverage is not in there in ObamaCare. LifeNews.com and pro-lifers are once again out there pushing back, while deliciously reminding the network of a 2004 story that wasn't all there -- or was only there in the vivid, anchor-ending imagination of Dan Rather (link to CBS story within excerpt added by me; bold is mine):
"Shop Sold Guns to Pa., Va. Tech Shooters" blares the headline for an August 7 Associated Press story carried on Time.com.
But Time's headline for the accompanying AP story is woefully inaccurate and worse, deceptive. Pittsburgh fitness center shooter George Sodini, whom police say purchased his firearms legally, did not purchase them from online accessories dealer TGSCOM, Inc.
The same story accessed at Google has a more accurate headline, "Pa. gunman used same Web store as Va. Tech shooter."
It today's "Who's Using Vitriol To Defend President Obama" segment, Lloyd Grove, the editor at large of the Daily Beast, is quite displeased with CNN's Lou Dobbs.
After the teaser to his article published Wednesday called Dobbs an "immigrant-hating, birther-supporting zealot," the former New York Daily News columnist claimed the CNN host has made a "Kafka-like metamorphosis from WASPy establishmentarian to angry-populist cockroach."
The White House is striking back at recent revelations about what presidential candidate Barack Obama stated during the campaign concerning his desire to create a universal healthcare system in America and eliminate private health insurance.
On Monday, the Drudge Report linked to a video created by our friends at Naked Emperor News -- first reported by NewsBusters Sunday -- that contained clips of Obama making statements about healthcare that quite contradict what he's currently telling the American people as he pushes for radical reform (embedded right).
To counter what was in this video, the White House created one of its own as reported by Politico Tuesday (embedded below the fold):
Democrats worried that too many of their liberal allies in the media are being gobbled up by the Obama administration should fret not, as the White House has a plan: replace the departed journalists with new left-leaning cadre.
Take for example Tuesday's revelation that Ethan Axelrod, the son of Obama senior adviser David Axelrod, is going to work for the Huffington Post.
As Big Hollywood's Jason Killian Meath reported Sunday, this is a liberal match made in heaven:
Here's a particularly noteworthy "Name That Party" follow-up.
In a February post ("AP’s ‘Name That Party’ Twist: Disgraced PA Judges’ Dem Party ID Disappears After Initial Inclusion"; at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the Associated Press had originally identified the party of two Democratic judges involved in a shocking scheme that pushed thousands of juvenile offenders into detention centers for minor offenses in return for millions in kickbacks.
However, in longer subsequent reports, the AP dropped the party affiliation of Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella (pictured at left) and Michael Conahan.
This evening, in a 5-paragraph story (as of 7:47 p.m.; story could change over time) about a federal judge's refusal to accept plea agreements from the pair, AP Writer MaryClaire Dale stayed consistent with the wire service's see-no-Democrats approach to developments in this grisly story:
Liberal bloggers this week have once again given credence to those who complain that bloggers lack credibility, attacking Michelle Bachmann over routine congressional floor actions.
Bachmann, who was holding the floor for the Republicans Monday afternoon, delayed a vote on a bill recognizing Hawaii’s 50th anniversary of statehood due to lack of quorum.
Apparently Bachmann’s delay for an evening vote proves she is an “Obama birther,” someone who believes that Obama was born in Kenya. After all, as Chris Steller of the Soros-funded Minnesota Independent said, “It’s hard to interpret Bachmann’s maneuver as anything other than her first foray into birtherism.”
When historians look back to identify the pivotal moments in the nation's struggle against obesity, they might point to the current period as the moment when those who influenced opinion and made public policy decided it was time to take the gloves off.