It seems the more Barack Obama tries to explain the peculiar statement he made Tuesday concerning his white grandmother's "fear of black men who passed by her on the street," the more he's assuring attention regarding the matter.
Applauding Barack Obama's March 18 speech, Time's Joe Klein (file photo at right) argued that most people will understand why the Illinois senator could not throw his pastor under the bus, even as Klein applauded the fact that Obama made his grandmother a speedbump on the bus ride to the Denver convention (emphasis mine):
The part about his grandmother is the real payoff, though: I'd say that most white people, over a certain age, have had grandmothers like that. (I had two such.) And I suspect most fair-minded white people who hear that section will understand: Obama can't toss aside the pastor--who, after all,was probably a powerful father figure for a man whose own father disappeared when he was two years old--any more than I could, or would want to, toss aside embarrassing old Grandma Rae, who almost always produced some dreadful jaw-dropper at Thanksgiving.
Now, perhaps Wright was a father figure in some ways to Obama. But doesn't that spiritual father-son relationship over decades require maturation with which the "son figure," Obama, would avail himself the opportunity to respectfully but sternly rebuke Wright and ultimately to leave the congregation if and when such concerns went resolved?
Perhaps it was his attempt at balance, but CNN's Bill Mears cast a cloud over the constitutional right to keep and bear arms by stacking his March 18 article about today's District of Columbia v. Heller case in "personal" terms that focused heavily on the victim of a tragic school shooting. What's more, Mears put the constitutional language about the right to keep and bear arms within the dreaded dismissive quote marks (emphasis mine):
Shelly Parker wants to know why she cannot keep a handgun in her house. As a single woman she has been threatened by neighborhood drug dealers in a city where violent crime rates are on the rise.
"In the event that someone does get in my home, I would have no defense, except maybe throw my paper towels at them," she said. But Parker lives in the nation's capital, which does not allow its residents to possess handguns.
Elilta "Lily" Habtu thinks that is how it should be. She knows about gun violence firsthand, surviving bullets to the head and arm fired by the Virginia Tech University shooter nearly a year ago.
It's a funny thing about the Bill of Rights. Rather than view each Amendment's protections as equally valid, many (but not all) liberals tend to enshrine some as sacrosanct but dismiss others at antiquated. Hence the First and Fourth amendments and their protections of free speech and press and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure respectively are held in extremely high regard, with state or federal restrictions on these rights held to strict scrutiny. But the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bears arms, eh, not so much.
But shouldn't a major newspaper like the Los Angeles Times take due care to not echo that line of thinking in its reporting? Above at right is a screen capture for a teaser headline on the L.A. Times Web page that hints that the First Amendment's protections are more iron-clad in their nature as individual rights than the Second's guarantee of firearm ownership rights.
What's more, in the third paragraph of reporter David Savage's article, the writer seems to suggest the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to keep and bear arms because, well, the Supreme Court hasn't said as much (emphasis mine):
Lead Los Angeles Times scold Patrick Frey, aka Patterico, ripped into the Times's Saturday story on Barack Obama and the sermons of Trinity United Church of Christ Pastor Jeremiah Wright, giving us yet another reason to be thankful for New Media:
(The Times) downplays the 20-year relationship Obama has had with the pastor, and fails to report or accurately describe the most incendiary things Wright has said. For example, the article doesn’t even bother to tell readers that Wright screamed “God damn America!” in a sermon, or that Wright suggested America deserved to get attacked on September 11. Nor does the article tell readers any details regarding the intimacy of the relationship between Wright and Obama.
On Monday, the same morning that the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal broke, Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee posted an e-mail from the Associated Press which explained the newswire's policy against blogs using AP photos. The long and short of it: unless you have a license from AP, you're violating copyright to use an AP photo.
But today, blogger Jules Crittenden informed me, the AP is defending its policy of lifting from her MySpace page copyrighted photos of Spitzer call girl Ashley Alexandra Dupre:
It's not as salient an issue as Obama's controversial pastor, but this couldn't be good news for the Illinois senator, that is, if the rest of the MSM follow this story.
In a post this morning at The Swamp blog, Mike Dorning of the Chicago Tribune notes earmarks that Democratic presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama inserted in legislation that would have his benefited his wife's hospital:
Among the pork-barrel spending requests Barack Obama has made since arriving in the U.S. Senate is $1 million for the hospital where his wife worked at the time and $8 million for weapons technology made by a big defense contractor with close ties to a major fundraiser.
Caveats aplenty — the data didn’t include Baghdad, there’s no way to tell if attacks increased because of the rhetoric or were just re-timed to coincide with it — but to no one’s surprise except possibly the left’s, “U.S. out of Iraq” does indeed create an incentive for jihadis to try to push the U.S. out of Iraq.
Allahpundit wonders if the media will report on "this rather media-unfriendly finding" or if it creates an "incentive for the press to at least include more pro-war voices in its coverage?"
Contemplating the SwitchThose of us who have been participating in the Eliot Spitzer Media Waiting Game -- halting our respitory activity in anticipation of the Jurassic Press actually ascribing Party affiliation to the recently resigned Big Apple Governor -- can finally breathe easy.
The Agence-France Presse and Yahoo! have teamed up to finally do what's right.
Barack Obama's good for NewsBusters' job security. Just ask Ace:
I've changed my mind: I want Obama as the Democratic nominee. Not only is he much more beatable than I first thought -- corruption, that Marxist harpy of a wife -- but the media bias should he prevail will be (licks fingers) muah!, magnifique.
In a humorous riff (mild content warning) on the Barack Obama cover art on Rolling Stone magazine, the 2008 CPAC Blogger of the Year pined for Obama to win the Democratic nomination for the pure joy of watching the media's unbridled worship of the Illinois senator:
...in the absolute number of subscriptions dropped over four years that is. The San Francisco Chronicle was actually worse in circulation hemorrhage in percentage terms.
All the same it's not exactly the accolade you want hanging on your wall if you're the publisher of the Times. From Editor & Publisher (h/t Patterico):
While the industry has lost about 10% of circulation overall in the past four years among the leading papers, some have bled much more than others during the same period, according to an E&P analysis of data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
The Los Angles Times lost 20% of daily circulation or more than 200,000 copies over the past four years, for example, while up the coast the San Francisco Chronicle's daily circulation dropped almost 30%.
Saying that he's "breaking our hearts," Seattle Post-Intelligencer "Big Blog" breaking news editor Candace Heckman is chagrined about the probable demise of Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.). Yet while Heckman praised Spitzer as an intrepid friend of Everyman, the populist defender of the masses against powerful Big Business.
Not once did Heckman note Spitzer's party affiliation in her March 11 post (emphasis mine)
Say it ain't so, Eliot! Governor, you're breaking our hearts.
He was once known as the Sheriff of Wall Street, an investigator unafraid of attacking even the most powerful of corrupt institutions and people. He joined Microsoft in taking on spammers, and started criticizing mortgage-lending practices long before the market's recent problems. I mean, if there was a guy to stand behind, it was he.
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a hero to consumer crusaders across the nation, is today the laughing stock for standup comics and barroom hecklers from Flatbush Avenue to Glenoaks Boulevard.
NewsBusters Associate Editor Noel Sheppard appeared on the March 10 "Glenn Beck" program on CNN Headline News to discuss the left-wing Web's recent smear of the radio host. Beck was taken out of context for comments he made about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). [See Sheppard's related March 8 blog entry here.]
GLENN BECK, host: Noel Sheppard is the associate editor of newsbusters.org, a conservative watchdog of the liberal blogs. Noel, you apparently did a Google search on this story. How out there is my bigotry?
NOEL SHEPPARD, Associate Editor, NewsBusters.org: Well, I Googled "Glenn Beck," "Obama" and "Anti-Christ," and I got 744,000 hits. Now, that doesn't mean that there's been 744,000 articles already written about this. That`s a little bit nuts.
ABC News has a photo montage of political sex scandals, featuring both Republicans and Democrats. But a few bloggers have noted that the captions for these photos often ignore the Democratic Party affiliation of Democrats while highlighting the GOP affiliation of Republican.
Out of 13 pols featured, there were five Democrats, four of whom (80 percent) were unidentified by party. Of the eight Republicans, only two (25 percent) were unidentified by party. Jay Tea at Wizbang has the breakdown here:
Here's a rundown of the disgraced pols, with party affiliations as ABC notes:
NewsBusters posters have already given Old Media deserved grief about its reluctance to pin the Democratic Party label on Eliot Spitzer, who, as of this moment, is still governor of New York (Brent Baker on evening news show coverage; Ken Shepherd on the BBC; Shepherd on the AP).
But, as blogger Ace noted last night (warning: some profanity at Ace's link), ABC has outdone the other outlets one better.
ABC's "Political Sex Scandals Redux" popup slideshow has a series of 13 slides relating to current and past politicians. If Republicans are or were involved, the network, with one rare and minor exception, consistently applies the "R" label almost immediately. With Democrats, with one very old exception, the party label isn't there.
Update (16:50 EDT): Clay Waters of MRC's TimesWatch informs me the 3rd paragraph reference in a NYT article to Spitzer's Democratic Party affiliation has been removed. Only an oblique reference to his party remains in the 15th paragraph, notes Waters.
It's the first major political sex scandal of 2008 (aside from Detroit's Kwame Kilpatrick) and it involves a Democrat. So of course the Associated Press failed to note Gov. Eliot Spitzer's (D-NY) party affiliation. Via the LATimes.com Web site, published at 2:28 p.m. EDT:
The New York Times is reporting that Gov. Eliot Spitzer has told senior advisers that he had been involved in a prostitution ring.
On its Web site, the newspaper cites an anonymous administration official as the source and says Spitzer was meeting with his top aides.
Spitzer officials wouldn't immediately comment on the story to The Associated Press. An announcement was scheduled for 2:15 p.m. at his Manhattan office.
The New York Times has more here, and that paper notes Spitzer's party affiliation in the third graf:
Yours truly had a memorable series of exchanges with MarketWatch Washington Bureau Chief Rex Nutting roughly 18 months ago. At one point, he appeared to reveal an expectation (otherwise, why provide a graph of it?) that home prices might actually fall like the NASDAQ did from 2000-2002 -- which, for the record, was almost 78%, from a peak of 5048 in March 2000 to a trough of 1114 in October 2002). He also described the housing market, which was still advancing nicely, as "in a free-fall."
Given the history, we shouldn't be surprised that Nutting pounced on the Fed's latest household net worth report, producing the following (link requires free registration):
It's turning into quite the morning for, uh, outing double-standards in the media. First was my item mentioning that Bob Herbert of the NYT had accused Hillary Clinton of "opening a trap door" under Obama. Readers are invited to imagine the PC outrage if a conservative had expressed the desire to do the same to the Illinois senator.
Now comes Mike Allen of the Politico. In his Playbook column of this morning, Allen offers this quote from Jann Wenner's over-the-top endorsement of Obama in Rolling Stone:
We have a deeply divided nation . . . A new president must heal these divides . . . Like Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama challenges America to rise up, to do what so many of us long to do: to summon 'the better angels of our nature.'
Allen's suggestion to Wenner in reaction to his breathless prose: "Get a room!"
Employing children in military units, much less terrorist outfits, is a slam dunk case of human rights abuse. But not to Reuters, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs notes:
Just when you think the mainstream wire services can’t possibly debase themselves any further, they release a photograph like this one, taken by Reuters Palestinian propagandist Ibraheem Abu Mustafa, with an unbelievably sick and distorted caption:
It happens from time to time, believe me. You're going over your Web site and what do you see but a product or service advertised that, to be charitable, conflicts with your mission, or otherwise is just plain embarrassing. It's the nature of having third-party advertising arrangements, and usually you can get these things resolved with an e-mail or two to your Web ad provider.
So it struck us as humorous when anti-Fox News blog News Hounds -- slogan: We watch FOX so you don't have to. -- was caught with an ad for FoxBusiness.com. (h/t Tim Graham)
Oh, it gets better. On the right-hand sidebar, there's another Fox Biz ad and, wait for it, it comes above an "Advertise Liberally" logo:
Former Navy signalman Hassan Abu-Jihaad was convicted today on charges "of leaking information about the movements and vulnerabilities of ships in his battle group to suspected terrorism supporters" in spring 2001, months before 9/11. These secrets were sent via e-mail to a pro-Taliban Web site.
But in reporting the story, MSNBC.com ran an Associated Press story that failed to note Abu-Jihaad is an American born convert to Islam, arguably germane to his terror conviction given the recipient of the classified material he leaked in 2001. By contrast, CBSNews.com ran an AP story that mentioned Abu-Jihaad's convert status:
The American-born Muslim convert formerly known as Paul R. Hall faces up to 25 years in federal prison when he is sentenced May 23. His attorneys said they were disappointed, and that an appeal was likely.
Markos "Kos" Moulitsas has bought into the latest loopy conspiracy theory spinning around the left-wing Web.: that the Hillary Clinton campaign deliberately darkened a photo of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to make him appear darker in skin tone than he actually is.
...morons are hyperventilating over videos they are watching via the internet, and assuming that the orangey color of Obama’s face in one video is somehow “genuine,” while the desaturated color and slightly different aspect ratio in the Clinton video is a nefarious racist plot.
That sounds about right. Here at NewsBusters, we often make basic color and contrast adjustments for video captures from network TV. If we posted photos from TV screen captures without doing so, everyone would appear darker, regardless of their race or ethnic background.
Besides, Johnson points out, following Kossack logic, the Associated Press would be playing the race card too while oddly enough the Black College Wire is making Obama whiter:
In rural parts of the country, it happens from time to time; a person appears uninvited on someone's property, and the landowner tells them that "elsewhere" is a better place to be. Typically these confrontations are benign in nature, even when on occasion either the property owner or the trespasser turns out to be armed.
Such was the case in Texas this past weekend when a Danish reporter wandered into the yard of an elderly Texas woman, and she shooed him off, a gun apparently in hand.
CNN's Ed Henry made quite a big deal out of the incident, promoting it as a near "international incident" writing in the lede that the Dane came "this close to getting shot."
Leftist Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez is threatening neighboring Colombia with war after that country successfully killed via airstrike FARC terrorists in a camp in Ecuador. Yet in reporting the story, CBSNews.com and the AP downplayed the terroristic nature of the leftist rebel movement.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has been on a Comprehensive List of Terrorists and Groups since November 2, 2001, yet in a March 2 AP filing on the CBSNews.com Web site, the Associated Press waited 30 paragraphs before hinting that FARC was an internationally-maligned terror organization:
[Venezuelan dictator Hugo] Chavez has increasingly revealed his sympathies for the FARC, and in January asked that it be struck from lists of terrorist groups internationally.
Instead, AP preferred to label FARC as a "rebel" force and put in dismissive quote marks the term "terrorists" to refer to FARC militants. For good measure, AP gave ink to former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who insisted Colombia was acting as a puppet of Washington:
What's your carbon footprint? How much carbon does your lifestyle emit every year? Can you reduce your carbon footprint?
Thanks to Al Gore (and a lot of other forward-thinking people), carbon is on everyone's mind. The more carbon we emit, the more the Earth's atmosphere heats up. And that, as we all know, is a bad thing.
But, as Michael Specter writes in the Feb. 25 New Yorker, reducing your carbon footprint isn't that easy. And what seem like simple solutions (eating food that is grown close to home) aren't always the best ideas when the whole carbon equation is considered.
Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft shares the news of another possible election year meltdown at CBS News.
"60 Minutes" recently aired the claim that former Alabama governor Don Siegelman went to jail not for corruption, but because he belong to the wrong political party, and that the investigations that landed him in jail for bribery were politically motivated.
One of the most explosive claims made was that Karl Rove was involved in an attempt to entrap Siegelman:
In the same vein as MSNBC's Chris Matthews, liberal Chicago Tribune blogger Eric Zorn paid tribute to the late Bill Buckley in a February 27 blog post by noting that he idolized the National Review founder when in junior high:
He was one of my idols when I was in junior high. I found his patrician bearing, devastating eloquence and understated, scornful wit thoroughly captivating. His quiet confidence and penetrating intellect were exactly what I aspired to, and it probably helped that very few other kids in the liberal bastion of Ann Arbor were allowed even to utter the man's name in their houses.
My romance with his political outlook was shortlived, though I always found him curious, fair, funny, occasionally surprising and about as open-minded and truly engaging as pundits get. If he was ever a shouter or a name-caller or a race baiter or a taunter, I missed it.