Blogger and former Washington Times staffer Robert Stacy McCain has an article over at The American Spectator's Web site that blows away the stereotype many in the MSM seem to have about Rush Limbaugh's audience being nothing more than "angry white men."
In "Taxi Driver Dittos, Rush", McCain relays a brief story of his interaction with a D.C. cabbie originally from Nigeria who loves Limbaugh.
Here's an excerpt:
Cabs lined up with engines idling outside Washington's historic Omni Shoreham Hotel about 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Drivers were waiting to sweep away thousands of guests who soon would depart the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), but nobody was leaving yet, and so the drivers waited.
"When does Rush speak?" asked a stocky driver in a blue hooded sweatshirt.
"He just started speaking," I answered.
"Oh, man, I wish I could be there," the driver said. "He is great."
Maybe it was just too easy to assume the worst of the news network most others in the press love to hate. Or perhaps it was deliberate.
Whatever the reason, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) wire service's Wednesday story about reaction to Barack Obama's sort-of State of the Union Speech the previous evening spent four of its last five paragraphs pinning a report harshly critical of various claims in the speech on Fox News.
True, Fox News's web site carried the story ("Fact Check: Obama's Words on Home Aid Ring Hollow"). But it was actually written by the Associated Press's Calvin Woodward and Jim Kuhnhenn. (Yes, the AP actually wrote an Obama-critical story. More on that in a bit.)
Here are the four paragraphs in question from the AFP report, which otherwise lavishes praise on Obama's speech and rips into Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's GOP response performance:
Washington Times White House correspondent Christina Bellantoni has online conservatives a-Twitter with some overheard snippets of a Helen Thomas interview, including what may well be a racially-tinged joke about Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.).
breaking Helen Thomas tells filmcrew Bush worst POTUS in history, "too many people are dead" in Iraq sez Kennedy, Johnson best #whpresscorps
Coming from someone who constantly complains about how many soldiers President Bush "killed" by invading and occupying Iraq, it's odd that Thomas considers two Vietnam era presidents to be among the best presidents in American history.
A few moments later Bellantoni added a tweet that hinted at a racially insensitive crack Thomas may have made about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R):
Of the 14 politicians identified, seven are Democrats and seven are Republicans. Five of the seven GOP members are identified as such, while only two of the seven Democrats were flagged. The montage also has a couple of surprising factual errors.
Well, glory be, sometime in the past couple of months, ABC has made changes to the montage. Now each profile except for Bill Clinton's (which is excusable) identifies the politician's party. Additionally, two factual errors at the original profiles have been corrected. The year of Clinton's Lewinsky scandal which ultimately led to his acts of perjury and impeachment has been changed from 1995 to 1998, and an incorrect statement that sex-scandalized Florida Democratic Congressman Tim Mahoney had conceded to GOP opponent Tom Rooney before Election Day last year has been removed.
Here's the lineup of the "Faces of Political Scandal," and how their status changed:
Amy Sullivan’s article on Time.com on Thursday, “The Catholic Crusade Against a Mythical Abortion Bill,” tried to downplay President Obama’s past and current support for abortion, and tried to use a technicality to “prove” that there is no chance of passage for the staunchly pro-abortion Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA): “...FOCA has also provided ammunition for those on the right who want to paint Obama as ‘the most pro-abortion president ever.’ It’s been less than a month since he took office, but so far the President has given social conservatives little evidence to back up that charge. He did repeal the Mexico City policy banning federal funds to foreign family planning organizations that provide abortion referrals or services — but so did Bill Clinton.” In reality, the Obama adminstration’s record on the issue consists of much more than merely support for legislative proposals and signing executive orders.
Whether it's a shot at competitor Newsweek for putting Markos Moulitsas on the payroll, or a brief moment of clarity, Time magazine has named the disgustingly liberal website Daily Kos as one of the most overrated blogs on the Internet.
I kid you not.
Such a revelation seems even more odd given the absence of any conservative websites in Time's "25 Best Blogs of 2009."
But before we get there, here's what the magazine had to say about DK:
About half-way through President Obama's press conference Monday night, he had an unscripted question of his own. "All, Chuck Todd," the President said, referring to NBC's White House correspondent. "Where's Chuck?" He had the same strange question about Fox News's Major Garrett: "Where's Major?"
The problem wasn't the lighting in the East Room. The President was running down a list of reporters preselected to ask questions.
In other words, the preselection by the President's team of who would be allowed to submit a question to His Excellency was obvious to anyone paying reasonably close attention, and his unfocused answers rambled on and on and on.
Now the American Spectator's Prowler reports that the White House's communications crew is trying to do something about that. Not the preselection, no-no-no. They're trying to use high tech to hide that element of the briefings as much as possible, and further, to assist the supposed "greatest orator of his generation" in handling the questions he receives (bolds are mine):
If you haven't figured it out yet, the fact that lawmakers in Washington who voted for the mislabeled "stimulus" bill championed by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid did so without reading it, let alone understanding it, means that in the coming weeks (or months?) we'll be learning about all manner of items in the legislation that "nobody" knew about. But that didn't stop House and Senate majorities from passing the legislation. My educated guess is that you won't hear much about these buried provisions from Old Media, because they're largely designed as stealth advances of longtime liberal agenda items.
Remember "net neutrality"? It's back, after probably a year or so of neglect.
Declan McCullagh at CNet explains that whoever wrote the legislation (will we ever know?) is attempting to force anyone who receives government money for broadband expansion to comply with something that isn't law, or even a regulation (links were in original):
A health policy expert who Keith Olbermann eviscerated during Thursday's "Countdown" (video embedded below the fold) has officially challenged the disgraceful MSNBC personality to a debate concerning provisions in the soon to be enacted stimulus plan.
If Keith Olbermann of MSNBCcould defend the health provisions slipped into the stimulus bill on their merits, he wouldn't be resorting to personal attacks on me. Olbermann calls me a shill funded by the drug industry (2-12-2009). That's not true...If Keith Olbermann has the courage, I invite him to debate me on his program...Mr. Olbermann, do you have the backbone (and the facts) to debate me?
Our story began last Monday when McCaughey published the following at Bloomberg:
This "Name That Party" situation has many of the usual elements. There are several stories about two Democratic judges involved in criminal behavior in Pennsylvania, and, with one exception, they "somehow" don't get around to identifying their party.
But this saga is different for two reasons:
The crimes to which the judges have pleaded guilty involve "thousands" of juveniles.
In one lonely exception, the Associated Press's coverage prominently identified the judges' party. But in what was apparently a subsequent longer revision, their party identification disappeared.
What follows is a side-by-side picture of the first four paragraphs of a February 11 AP story carried at topix.com (also saved at my host for future reference), and of the five paragraphs of the story as it now appears at MSNBC (also saved at host; red and green boxes are mine; portions of the Topix link were moved from their original locations on the page for demonstration purposes; MSNBC graphic is of the printer-friendly version):
That's how Chicago Tribune religion blogger Manya Brachear began her Feb. 11 The Seeker blog post, practically considering the Pope to be another politician who must watch out for how his PR blunders affect his poll numbers (emphasis mine):
Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI quelled concerns last week regarding the excommunication of a Holocaust denier, he caused another stir closer to home. He reportedly tapped a bishop who once described Hurricane Katrina as God’s punishment for sin and debauchery in New Orleans.
According to the Times of London, Father Gerhard Maria Wagner, an ultraconservative parish priest at Windischgarsten in Austria, published his theory of divine retribution in his parish newsletter four years ago.
While most people might be offended by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) saying bonuses are like bribes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) was so enamored with such talk that she actually posted a video of the Massachusetts Congressman's disgusting remarks at YouTube.
As NewsBusters previously reported, during Wednesday's House Financial Services Committee hearing, Frank chastised the CEOs in attendance for having the gall to receive bonuses:
Why do you need to be bribed to have your interests aligned with the people who are paying your salary?
Pelosi obviously wasn't offended by Frank's comments, for she posted a video of his remarks -- in her own name, mind you! -- at YouTube (video embedded below the fold):
Hat-tipping gay blogger Andrew Sullivan, Time's Amy Sullivan (no relation) expressed impatience at the Obama administration for not moving yet on ending the ban on openly gay personnel serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Sullivan is chagrined that a Kansas National Guardsman was reportedly discharged after Army brass discovered her MySpace page in which she declared she is a lesbian.
Is ABC's Jake Tapper the White House press corps' next David Gregory or journalism's anti-Chris Matthews?
Such questions were raised Tuesday in an interesting column about Tapper by the Daily Beast's Rachel Sklar.
Unlike virtually all the Obama-loving media, Tapper during last year's presidential campaign was very often a refreshing impartial voice willing to take shots at all the candidates including those with a "D" after their names and The One which was the object of so many's affection.
Tapper appears not only cognizant of the disgraceful sycophancy of colleagues like MSNBC's Chris Matthews, but also dismissive (h/t TVNewser):
Liberal blogger Steve Gilliard passed away in 2007, but his most infamous contribution to the blogosphere lives on as leftist bloggers continue to lodge racists attacks at Michael Steele, the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Gilliard's 2005 photoshop depicting then-Lt. Gov. Steele as a minstrel was re-syndicated by the leftist blog perceptionmanagers.org on January 31 (see screencap taken Feb. 10 at right).
The text of the blog post reads:
Apparently the Black community in Maryland (and the rest of Black America) doesn't like Michael "Oreo's fell like Locusts" Steele very much.
So the RNC would prefer to be known as the party of "Uncle Tom" instead of the Party of Racists. Way to broaden the base guys! Good luck with that in 2012.
President Barack Obama's pick to head his faith-based initiative is a 26-year old former Pentecostal pastor by the name of Joshua DuBois. The media have largely noted DuBois's religious affiliation in a matter-of-fact manner.
In a Newsweek Web exclusive, Lisa Miller and Amanda Coyne set out to find something juicy about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's house of worship, Wasilla Bible Church. But finding a "staid" worship environment that "steer[s] clear of politics" and whose main attraction is Biblical preaching, they opted to focus on where the governor used to worship regularly years ago, an Assemblies of God church:
Pentecostalism is one of the fastest growing branches of Christianity in the world, and the Assemblies of God is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the country, claiming 1.6 million members. Pentecostals are generally characterized by a strict adherence to moral codes--no tobacco, no alcohol, no social dancing, no sex outside of marriage--and by their belief that the Holy Spirit bestows upon some the gift of "speaking in tongues," a reference to Acts 2: "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues." A spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign has said that Palin attends many churches and does not consider herself to be Pentecostal.
The Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers, aka "The Sleuth," has (Tom) Delay Derangement Syndrome (DDS), and she's got it bad.
Akers's DDS outbreak occurred as she reported on the plan by the Obama Administration to have the director of the Census Bureau report to the White House instead of the Director of the Commerce Department.
(On Thursday evening, after my original post [at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog], CQpolitics.com separately updated its original coverage by reporting that "the White House but sought to define the relationship as one in which the director would 'work closely with' rather than report to President Obama’s senior staff." Uh huh.)
As if to justify the administration's plan, Akers incoherently compared the Obama White House's attempt to coopt the entire Census Bureau to what Texan Delay and other Republicans did a few years ago to maximize the number of GOP-majority districts in one state.
Here are the opening paragraphs of Akers's Friday evening bellyache (link is in original):
It would be funny if the subject matter wasn't the destruction of unborn children in the womb. Time magazine's Amy Sullivan asked in a Swampland blog post headline from February 4: "Barack Obama, Pro-Life President?"
Sullivan's evidence? Well, the president has picked a Pentecostal preacher -- who once worked for a New Jersey Congressman with a 100% score by NARAL Pro-Choice America -- to head his faith-based initiatives office and "abortion reduction" is one of the major stated goals of one of the president's advisory boards:
Have you ever wondered how the geniuses who report business news know why the stock market opens or closes up or down on any given day -- especially when they venture into political explanations?
I received this e-mail from CNN just after the markets opened:
Gosh, those e-mail drafters at CNN are smart. Who knew that the markets want the stimulus package so bad?
Can't you hear, senators? The markets want their stimulus and they want it now!
Give me a break. There is no hard evidence of CNN's assertion. Others commenting on the opening, including CNN itself, aren't buying all of what the e-mail was selling. Here's what CNNMoney.com had to say at 9:42 a.m.:
On January 25, as noted by yours truly here at NewsBusters ("Obama 'Shifting Power From Traditional Cabinet Posts"), Jonathan Martin at Politico.com reported that President Obama "is moving to create perhaps the most powerful staff in modern history – a sort of West Wing on steroids that places no less than a half-dozen of his top initiatives into the hands of advisers outside the Cabinet." (The picture on the right is at that report.)
I'm not aware that any Old Media outlet besides Politico itself, which is largely a collection of Old Media alums, has covered this development.
The power grab continues. My bet is that Old Media will also maintain its studied ignorance of this development, despite years of whining about alleged Executive Branch excesses during the Bush administration.
Now it looks like Barack Obama's inner circle is going to teach the Census Bureau how to count in 2010. CQpolitics.com this morning reported that the White House is taking the next decennial census away from the Commerce Department, and keeping it for itself.
UPDATE: We have been reminded that Senator Stabenow's husband, Thomas Athans, is the co-founder of the liberal TalkUSA Radio network and is now the Executive Vice-President of liberal Air America. Liberal talk radio has of course failed miserably every time it has been tried, all the while watching it's conservative counterpart's success soar.
Which might lead one to believe that Senator Stabenow, in addition to her zealous will to slam the fist of government down upon her opponents, has some business skin in the game as well. If you can't beat 'em, censor 'em.
Michael Calderone in today's Politico reports on the latest liberal politician -- Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow -- openly touting their intent to silence their talk radio opposition with a reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine.
"Whether it’s called the Fairness Standard (sic), whether it’s called something else – I absolutely think it’s time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves."
Senator Stabenow was speaking on the air with liberal talk radio host Bill Press and to his eleven listeners nationwide. She insisted that she "think(s) it’s absolutely time to pass a standard" and indicated she had "already had some discussions with colleagues" about Fairness "Standard" hearings and that she "feel(s) like that’s gonna happen. Yep."
Mr. Calderone delivers us the exchange (audio here):
In the past several hours, I have received multiple e-mail messages from readers claiming that internet behemoth Google, for a brief period of time Saturday morning, flagged a number of conservative websites including NewsBusters, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Fox News as possibly harmful to computers.
UPDATE: This is NOT a problem exclusive to conservative websites.
As noted Friday evening (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Jake Tapper at ABC's Political Punch blog revealed that former South Dakota senator Tom Daschle, Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, had failed to pay over $100,000 in federal income taxes for 2005, 2006, and 2007, because he did not originally report the "the services of (a free) car and driver" provided to him by his employer, private equity firm InterMedia Advisers.
At 11:24 last night, Tapper posted a separate update (HT to NB commenter "slickwillie2001") indicating that Daschle's tax problems involve larger amounts, go well beyond the matter of a "mere" car and driver, and are not completely resolved (bolds are mine):
Former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle (picture at right is part of a Getty Images pic at a related New York Times story) has just upped the ante in Washington's tax-avoiding/evading game of "Can you top this?"
Whereas recently confirmed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner "only" $40,000 in back taxes and interest, principally relating to unpaid Social Security and Medicare taxes (with a dash of retirement-plan penalty and illegally deducted overnight summer camp expenses included in the mix), the man who Rush Limbaugh used to call "Puff" Daschle during his Senate days has upped to ante to six figures.
What motivated Politico to take a two month-old story about South Carolina GOP Senator Jim DeMint (picture at right is from that story) out of mothballs and put it out there right now?
That question inevitably occurs to a careful reader of Manu Raju's "Republicans Chew on DeMint" story that appeared at the site Tuesday. It primarily covers the goings-on at a November 18 Republican Conference meeting in Washington. There is another reference to summer votes on global AIDS and housing bills.
So why is that news now? Well, it's not hard to believe that it's because DeMint's mindset is making headway with fellow Republicans in Washington. Beat reporters, as well as turf-protecting and mostly unnamed senators and senate aides, are likely not at all happy about that.
I realize it's the other chamber of Congress, but yesterday's unanimous GOP "no" to the stimulus/"Porkulus" bill by House Republicans is a sign that the Party of Lincoln may be on the road back to its roots. By holding the line, Minority Leader John Boehner and his colleagues, at least for one day, made it clear that core beliefs mean something. Jim DeMint surely welcomed that result.
The same can't be said for Senate GOPers sniping about DeMint, as Raju reports (bolds are mine):
Updated (14:17 p.m. EST): Checking back at the site a few minutes ago, the Obama White House now has a press briefings section with the Briefing Room portion of the site. You can find it here.
This morning I discovered that the Obama administration's WhiteHouse.gov is indeed transcribing and maintaining its daily press briefings featuring Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Of course you pretty much have to know where to find them since there's no link to an archive section from either the main page or the "Briefing Room" page.
By entering "press briefing" in the search field, I got a hit for the first Gibbs press briefing on January 22, 2009. The link is as follows:
NewsBusters and the Weekly Standard's Mary Katharine Ham are not the only critics of the Obama administration for its failure to transcribe, publish and archive the daily press briefings held by press secretary Robert Gibbs.
A Web site called WhiteHousePressCorps.org is running a graphic at the top of its main page which reads, "Waiting on the official release of the 1/22/2009 Press Briefing transcript for" followed by a ticker counting up from January 22. You can also track them on Twiter @whpresscorps.
The site, which features archives of White House press gaggle and briefing transcripts dating back to February 2006, describes itself as "an independent media watchdog source providing information and commentary on the relationship between the press and the White House" that is not affiliated with the White House Correspondents' Association.
Here's how the guys at WHPC reacted to a carefully excerpted press briefing posted to the WhiteHouse.gov site on Monday:
Newsweek’s Sarah Kliff, in a January 27, 2009 web-exclusive article entitled “Pro-Lifers In Obamaland,” failed to mention how several organizations and individuals she labeled as “pro-life” have friendly relations with pro-abortion Democrats. She also tried to portray the pro-life movement as being “split” between “those who are preparing for the fight of their lives and those who see an opportunity to redefine what it means to be pro-life,” with the latter being the organizations sympathetic to the Democrats. Kliff wrote sympathetically of these groups, which are actually trying to muddy the waters of pro-life activism
Kliff began by introducing Sister Sharon Dillon, a “50-year-old former director of the Franciscan Federation” who has been “a pro-life activist since high school.” Sister Dillon “doesn't agree with Roe v. Wade,” but she’s also “frustrated with the kind of single-minded activism she sees around her.” What does Sister Dillon see as being “single-minded”? Apparently, it’s “young girls chanting, ‘hey hey, ho ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go!’” So Kliff started with the premise that wanting to overturn this Supreme Court ruling is “single-minded.”