This is a much more serious sin than the folly I noted earlier today from ABCNews.com coverage of a Bill Clinton visit to a "Pentacostal" church.
On May 1, Christianity Today's Sarah Pulliam took to her magazine's Liveblog to address ABCNews.com's numerous errors in reporting on a faculty matter at evangelical Wheaton College:
ABC's report of Wheaton College professor Kent Gramm's resignation was an example of sloppy journalism and weak analysis.
The original headline was simply false: "Professor Fired for Getting a Divorce." Gramm was not fired. He resigned because he declined to talk with the college about his divorce. (The image to the right is a screen shot of an earlier version)
Later today, ABC changed the headline to "Professor Loses Job Over Divorce." The headline is still not quite accurate. To lose your job generally indicates that someone took it away from you. However, Gramm voluntarily resigned. And according to the Chicago Tribune, the college offered him another year of employment while he searched for another job.
There is a huge blogswarm going on about this photo, from Chicago Magazine, of Obama's unrepentant terrorist associate, Bill Ayers stomping on the American flag. The photo was taken in 2001, the same time Barack Obama served on the Woods Fund Board with Ayers. This was also the same time that Ayers donated to Obama's campaign.
Marathon Pundit has similar photo, and many political bloggers are saying it long past due for Obama to disown his association with this controversial radical.
The question that remains is, will the media pick this up or will they write it off as old news? Its worthy of recycling this to further probe into Obama's judgement, the one thing he says he should be measured by.
Former President Bill Clinton pinged ABCNews.com's Political Radar on a pulpit-pounding campaign swing through the Tarheel State just two days before the North Carolina primary. But it appears the alphabet network's Web site not only got the name of an Asheville, N.C., church wrong, but it misspelled, three times, the name of a denomination within Protestant Christianity (emphasis mine) in this May 4 blog post (screencap below fold):
ABC News' Sarah Amos reports: Former President Bill Clinton spent time in two western North Carolina churches this morning, speaking more from his heart than any sort of political handbook.
"I didn't come here to ask you to vote for my wife," said Clinton, addressing the congregation at Church of the Pentacostal in Asheville, N.C. "I came here to ask you to pray for her. And to vote. Do whatever you want. Show up. Our country is in dire distress.
Here's something you don't see every day: a liberal, female editor of a leading liberal online magazine stating with cameras rolling that most press members "Hate, hate Hillary Clinton."
Yet, that's exactly what occurred Sunday morning when Salon's editor-in-chief Joan Walsh spoke some truths about the media's love affair with Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama, as well as their disdain for the former first lady (video embedded right).
Also surprising was Walsh's view of liberal assertions that the Rev. John Hagee is as big an issue for Sen. John McCain's candidacy as Rev. Jeremiah Wright is for Obama's.
But, before we get there, here were Walsh's comments about media bias during this campaign:
Update (14:11): Video is no longer up on YouTube, so we pulled the embed. For more coverage, see Ed Morrissey's post at Hot Air.
Just in time to prove a major migraine for the Clinton campaign for the May 6 Hoosier State primary, a YouTube video alleges Clinton backer Mickey Kantor once derided Indianans as "sh*t" and "white n****rs." Fellow NewsBuster Seton Motley and I reviewed the video. There's no doubt Kantor actually said "It doesn't matter if we win. Those people are sh*t," but there is a dispute over who "those people" are and if the second slur is doctored. [see video embed below fold]
Ben Smith at Politico.com reports that D.A. Pennebaker, director of "The War Room" from which the clip is taken, insists the "white n****rs" comments were doctored. Au contraire, says the editor of the video, who insists he merely "enhanced" the audio to bring out the barely whispered epithet.
What's more, Smith reports, Pennebaker says Kantor was referring to then-President George H.W. Bush's political advisors as "sh*t", not the people of Indiana themselves:
"[I] split my time between The Weather Channel and this think tank in Princeton and one of the things we've been trying to do is work with Google Earth essentially. And for me, coming from The Weather Channel, the most powerful tool that exists is Weather.com and you type in your zip code and you get a forecast out five days."
Hillary Clinton's tax policy on gas and oil is "pointless" while John McCain's is "evil," according to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. But in explaining the difference, Krugman betrays either his ignorance of the flawed history of the so-called "windfall profits tax" on petroleum or his tacit approval of the tax despite its folly as public policy.
Anyway, John McCain has a really bad idea on gasoline, Hillary Clinton is emulating him (but with a twist that makes her plan pointless rather than evil), and Barack Obama, to his credit, says no. [...] The Clinton twist is that she proposes paying for the revenue loss with an excess profits tax on oil companies. In one pocket, out the other. So it’s pointless, not evil. But it is pointless, and disappointing.
Far from being pointless, a windfall profits tax produces negative effects on consumers and investors, as well as the health of the energy industry, say many economists, including former Bill Clinton economic advisor Robert J. Shapiro who focused his fire on the policy's damage to retirees' investments (see PDF of study here).
Washington Post reporters Alec MacGillis and Steven Mufson found another liberal economist with nothing positive to say for a windfall profits tax in their May 1 front-page article (emphasis mine):
The State of Israel turns 60 years old this May, but rather than highlighting the nation's survival in a hostile region over six decades, U.S. News & World Report aimed to focus on discontent from Israeli Arabs, and to suggest that Israel's sovereignty was in and of itself the cause of "six ensuing decades of bloody conflicts."
A lot of bias can be packed into six little words. Take, for example, this April 30 headline on CBSNews.com: "'Hostile' Iran Sparks U.S. Attack Plan." Hostile with the quote marks coupled with "U.S. attack plan" without them suggests belligerence on the part of American military authorities who might be overly suspicious of a "hostile" Iran.
The term "attack plan" might even evoke in readers the notions that an imminent, perhaps large scale offensive military action or war with Iran, a favored bogeyman of left-wing anti-war activists.
But the term "hostile," as we see in the story's lede, is taken from one unnamed military officer's description of Iran's "increasingly hostile role" in backing insurgents in Iraq who are the primary threat to the safety of American GIs.:
(CBS) A second American aircraft carrier steamed into the Persian Gulf on Tuesday as the Pentagon ordered military commanders to develop new options for attacking Iran. CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports that the planning is being driven by what one officer called the "increasingly hostile role" Iran is playing in Iraq - smuggling weapons into Iraq for use against American troops.
What's more, the article itself lays out that the "attack plan" is more or less an upgrade and revision of plans to address an existing Iranian threat, more than a master plan for another war.:
Four, count them, four ABCNews.com reporters hacked out a three-page April 30 article for the alphabet network's Web site that dealt with new steamy text messages between Democratic Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his then-chief-of-staff Christine Beatty. Kilpatrick, indicted on twelve criminal counts including perjury and obstruction of justice, could see time in prison thanks to these text messages which would prove he lied under oath about his affair with Beatty.
Here's how the Kwame Quartet of Vicki Mabrey, David W. Scott, Mary-Claude Foster and Katie Escherich opened their story:
More steamy text messages sent between Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff reveal intimate details about their relationship, and further indicate the mayor played a part in the dismissal of a police officer whose lawsuit brought their affair to light.
In a 10:15 EDT post today at CNN.com, producer Bill Mears noted the 6-3 ruling by the Supreme Court upholding an Indiana law requiring photo ID in order to vote. Yet Mears left out that Democrats who challenged the law were unable to produce a single voter who could prove he or she was unable to vote due to the law nor did Mears point out mechanisms the Indiana law has in place for provisional balloting and free voter ID cards.
Here's Mears's four-paragraph blog post at the CNN Political Ticker:
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Supreme Court on Monday backed Indiana's law requiring voters to show photo identification, despite concerns thousands of elderly, poor, and minority voters could be locked out of their right to cast ballots.
The 6-3 vote allows Indiana to require the identification when it holds its statewide primary next month.
Update (11:25 EDT): The Stevens opinion in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, along with the Scalia concurrence and the dissents by Justices Souter and Breyer can be found here.
This morning the Supreme Court issued a 6-3 ruling upholding Indiana's voter ID law. That law requires voters to present photo identification prior to voting in order to curb voter fraud.
Yet AP writer Mark Sherman cast the decision as a political victory for Republicans in a "splintered" ruling from the bench. Oh, and for good measure Sherman invoked the controversial 2000 Bush v. Gore decision that "sealed" President Bush's electoral victory, a favored talking point of liberals who argue the president was "selected not elected" (emphasis mine):
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can require voters to produce photo identification without violating their constitutional rights, validating Republican-inspired voter ID laws.
In a splintered 6-3 ruling, the court upheld Indiana's strict photo ID requirement, which Democrats and civil rights groups said would deter poor, older and minority voters from casting ballots. Its backers said it was needed to deter fraud.
In her April 24 post at The Seeker blog, Chicago Tribune's Manya Brachear asked readers how they would keep the peace between Armenian and Greek Orthodox priests that maintain the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Brachear also noted the concern at least one reader of the Tribune expressed as to the grammatically, historically, and theologically sloppy way in which the print edition rendered a caption describing the church (emphasis mine):
Revered by most Christians as the site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the sanctuary was built over the place where Jesus is said to have been buried.
It’s the latter description of the church that sparked a newsroom debate this week. Reader Marcia Smith Marzec of Joliet pointed out that a caption in the Tribune’s April 21 edition described the church as "built over the site in Jerusalem where Jesus is said to be buried."
"Even non-believers know that for Christians, Christ rose from the dead, and therefore is not ‘buried’ anywhere," Marzec wrote.
It was just a matter of time I suppose. What with Sen. Barack Obama's popularity with college students and the economy being the number one issue for voters, the media finally have an excuse to put a more youthful spin on the classic food vs. prescription drugs meme. A changing media environment, after all, calls for new angles at the same old bias. Someone had to give it the old college try.
Somewhere out there some college co-ed is making an agonizing decision: textbooks or birth control.
Fortunately for America's college-aged voters, ABCNews.com is picking up the banner on this issue:
Erin McKenna, a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, admits that she sometimes has to choose between purchasing textbooks for school and paying for her birth-control prescription.
"I have two jobs and I still can't afford it," McKenna said.
Looking for a "carbon karma" guru? Didn't think so. But in case you were, you can always ask CBS's Hari Sreenivasan, who has anointed himself equal to the task. From an April 23 post to CBSNews.com's Couric & Co. blog:
The simple idea with carbon offsets is that you are trying to clean up the earth a bit for the damage you feel you might be doing – whether it be from the carbon emissions of driving your car, flying in a plane, leaving your plasma TV running all night or the mother of all barbeque pits smoking all day. Travel Web sites such as Orbitz, Travelocity, and Expedia – as well as several major airlines – offer the chance to pay an additional fee right when you book a ticket with them. Companies like DrivingGreen offer opportunities to cleanse your travels on the road.
But I have yet to find a BBQ carbon offset calculator. I'm sure one will pop up if there isn't one.
..... and waits until the 30th paragraph of its online story to reveal it.
The feds seem to be closing in on Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich -- and at least one Chicago television station seems determined to minimize exposure not only of his party affiliation, but of others who have received tainted campaign contributions.
CHICAGO (CBS) ― In an explosive development reaching to the state's highest office, a former high-ranking state official claimed Tuesday that Gov. Rod Blagojevich was on hand when he presented $25,000 in campaign money to now-indicted fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko.
Ali Ata, 56, a former executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority, said Blagojevich then asked Rezko if he had talked to Ata about a job on the state payroll.
Ata said later, after he made a second $25,000 campaign contribution, Blagojevich again brought up the subject of a job and said it should be one in which Ata "could make some money."
Last week's issue of the Village Voice featured Roy Edroso's review of "10 conservative Web scribblers," described therein as "buffoons" and in the article's subhead as "a confederacy of dunces." (Actually, Edroso names twelve bloggers, arriving at his figure of ten by counting the Power Line trio as one person.)
Lefty snark aside, the piece is problematic in part because at least two of the bloggers Edroso scrutinizes, Ann Althouse and Megan McArdle, really aren't conservatives. Moreover, by emphasizing individual bloggers he almost completely ignores lively large-group sites such as the Corner (he examines only Jonah Goldberg's contributions to NRO) and, of course, NewsBusters.
Indeed, the only thing to justify the "no end" language was citing gasoline analyst Trilby Lundberg as saying "she does not expect the prices to go down anytime soon," hardly a dire "no end in sight" forecast that conjures up notions of never-ending price increases rather than an eventual price plateau.
Sandwiched neatly between the U.S. papal visit and the Keystone Primary, former President Jimmy Carter picked an excellent time to visit U.S. State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) Hamas and yet receive scant press coverage.
Yet Carter's embrace of Hamas, his newfound respect in the state-run Iranian media, and his all-but-explicitly leveled allegations of a Zionist conspiracy behind U.S. foreign policy present a strong case for media scrutiny, as well as the media's role in presenting the comments for denunciation by presidential contenders Sens. Clinton, McCain, and Obama.
For its part the Los Angeles Times appears to be taking notice, judging from the coverage from its Middle East affairs blog Babylon & Beyond. From an April 21 posting by Borzou Daragahi in Beirut and Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran (emphasis mine):
With Pope Benedict back in Rome, the media are rendering their verdict of the pontiff's U.S. visit. The pontiff did "better than expected" seems to be the verdict coming from secular journalists, who, of course, found that the pontiff bested the low expectations of unnamed "experts."
NEW YORK, April 20 -- After thanking the United States for his "many memorable experiences of American hospitality," Pope Benedict XVI headed back to Rome on Sunday night, ending a six-day visit in which he directly confronted the clergy sex-abuse crisis and surprised many by drawing large, enthusiastic crowds.
In today's episode of "As The Left Eat Their Own," a tape of Hillary Clinton complaining after Super Tuesday that activists from MoveOn.org "flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support [her]" was published at The Huffington Post Friday.
This has set off a predictably hostile reaction from the liberal blogosphere, and was considered such a bombshell that Barack Obama-loving MSNBC actually began Friday's installment of "Verdict" with this revelation.
But, before we get there, here's the text of Hillary's remarks (audio embedded upper-right):
The graphic (pictured at right) features a young woman holding the traditional Wii controller against a silhouette of a woman grasping a stripper pole. The link takes readers to an ABCNews.com story by Ashley Phillips.
When John Paul II traveled to Syria in 2000, he became the first pope ever to visit a mosque. He stood in Damascus's Umayyad Masjid, kissed the Qur'an and stated, "For all the times that Muslims and Christians have offended one another, we need to seek forgiveness from the Almighty and to offer each other forgiveness." It's no wonder many Muslims look back on John Paul's reign as the golden days of interfaith relations--and as Pope Benedict XVI's first few years as anything but.
A woman in the throes of passion, a crucifix, and a book, presumably a Bible with a cross emblazoned on the cover. Those are the elements of a photo illustration (via PhotoDisc) gracing ABCNews.com's front page and teasing an article entitled "Christian Sex: Holy and Hot!"
Published the same day Pope Benedict XVI is set to arrive in Washington, D.C., the article's timing in and of itself might turn heads. Of course the subject matter -- how Christian ministers approach preaching and teaching on sex and romance in the context of marriage -- is in and of itself perfectly fine for a general news publication. But the illustration in question is, to say the least, uncalled for.
Update (16:54): Schroeder Mullins added links to our videos on EyeBlast.tv. The old Politico had a dead link to our livecast from last evening. She also corrected the error about last night's function being the 20th anniversary. MRC is in its 21st year.
Politico gossip columnist Anne Schroeder Mullins picked up on the 2008 MRC Annual Gala in her April 11 "Shenanigans" feature. The column is devoted to "[s]hifting the spotlight from the buttoned-up, straight-laced world of politics to the fun, tawdry side of Washington."
We're pleased to make the cut, particularly since she mentioned the portion of the program that honored posthumous Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy.
E-mail tipster Mike Huggins pointed out to NewsBusters that as of 4:30 p.m. EDT today, he found but one media mention of Obama backer Sen. Jay Rockefeller's (D-W.V.) smear of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) among the seven major online news sources he checked. Rockefeller's comment, which he now regrets, is also arguably a smear of U.S. military fighter pilots past and present.
"McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they (the missiles) get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues," Rockefeller said.
Huggins noted that while he searched the Web sites for the Washington Post, L.A. Times, New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABCNews.com, and CBSNews.com, he found but one story on the incident and that on ABC's Web site.
Elizabeth Edwards, I'm sure, is a smart, capable woman. A well-educated lawyer, seasoned politician's wife, and mother of three, her battle against cancer is laudable no matter what your politics are. But in all honestly, is she really that much of a scholarly health care policy or health care finance expert?
Not sure if this was expected or known in advance, but the announcement today that Elizabeth Edwards is joining the Center for American Progress as a senior fellow is striking in two ways. First, it's great for CAP. Think tanks don't often get the benefit of having famous and well-liked authors or thinkers on their staffs. Hers will be a prominent voice on the health care debate going forward, and CAP will bask in her reflected fame...