Cheap Shots Fit to PrintThis would make even the Daily Kos and MoveOn.org blush.
Well, maybe not. But still, ... .
The New York Times on Wednesday evening went to the web with "For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk", an innuendo-filled and fact-deprived 3,000 word ramble on the 1999 professional interactions between now virtually certain Republican Presidential nominee John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman. They then extrapolated the unproven impropriety of this alleged "relationship" into a broader questioning of McCain's ethics.
Both McCain and Iseman flatly deny the affair. Their refutation, and the Times' protracted inability to gather any evidence to the contrary, should in no way have served to prevent them from levying the accusation in long form print, apparently.
There are actually no direct allegations of any sexual scandal here, and mostly attacks his ethics on dealing with lobyists. The allegations are paper thin, and should be easy enough to brush off. Its curious to me though, why the NY Times ignored the allegations against John Edwards. The allegations have no meat, but they decided it would be fit to be front page above the fold. Anonymous sources delivering nothing of substance is just irresponsible.
Back in 1986, Time and other news organizations attempted to whip up hysteria about a new firearm on the market, the Glock 17, attempting to state that it could pass easily though airport metal detectors, and therefore become a favored weapon for terrorists or hijackers
The manufactured Glock hysteria was of course false; the barrel, slide, sights, and of course the pistol cartridges themselves are made of dense metals, and the promised "new guns made entirely of plastic" have never materialized on the consumer market.
Yesterday I ran across another attempt to create a false hysteria, this time about painted guns. Yes, really. (video below page break)
Los Angeles Times's L.A. Now blog today picked up on reporter/former L.A. mayoral mistress Mirthala Salinas:
Her rise through the ranks at Telemundo was swift. Her fall following the disclosure of an affair with Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of our fair city, was a spectacle. And now she's back - on the radio this time. Hoyinternet.com is the first with the news:
On February 18, the Zenit News Service reported that the apostolic nunciature in Caracas, Venezuela - the Holy See’s equivalent of an embassy in the country - was bombed on Thursday [February 14]. The bombing "caused only minor damages. The facade of the structure was also vandalized by political graffiti." The Zenit story was one of only four items on the bombing that came up during a Google News search.
Two other recent bombing in Caracas have also gone under-reported by the media. On Monday [February 18], The Earth Times website reported that there was an explosion "in front of a mercantile court and congressional offices in Venezuela's capital. The blast caused some damage but no casualties and was the third explosion in Caracas in a week."
I see that Bill Clinton is once again taking credit for the "good things" that happened in the 1990s, as Jack Tapper at ABC's Political Punch reports:
"There are two competing moods in America today," Clinton said. "People who want something fresh and new -- and they find it inspiring that we might elect a president who literally was not part of any of the good things that happened or any of the bad things that were stopped before. The explicit argument of the campaign against Hillary is that 'No one who was involved in the 1990s or this decade can possibly be an effective president because they had fights. We're not going to have any of those anymore.' Well, if you believe that, I got some land I wanna sell you."
I also see that Tapper is letting Mr. Clinton's claims pass as if they are undeniable facts, as others in Old Media have done for so many years:
Consider the opening of this story from Reuters about the latest rash of rioting in Copenhagen:
Danish youths riot for sixth night [Update: make that the seventh straight night]
Gangs of rioters set fire to cars and garbage trucks in northern Copenhagen on Friday, the sixth night of rioting and vandalism that has spread from the capital to other Danish cities, police said on Saturday.
Here's one media bias everyone accepts (and expects): showing compassion and sympathy for a community after a horrifying mass murder, such as the killings at Northern Illinois University. The leftist website Alternet proved the exception to the rule, printing a bizarre article by an author named Mark Ames that trashed NIU as a mediocre school for mediocre students, and suggested that the "flat" plains of Middle America could make anyone shoot up a school or a post office. The headline was:
Northern Ill. University: Was the Killer Crazy, or the Campus Hopeless? Bracket this massacre as the work of a lunatic on drugs, and you miss the chance to consider the horrors of life in middle America.
Noting Sen. Barack Obama's recent statement that he considers the Second Amendment an individual right -- setting aside for a moment his pro-gun control record and defense of the D.C. handgun ban -- ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg dismissed private gun ownership as constitutionally protected, holding instead that the "orthodox" view defends only a state's right.
Here's the relevant portion from a February 15 entry at Greenburg's Legalities blog (emphasis mine):
Sure, it's garden variety AP labeling/double-standard bias, but it bears busting anyway.
At KnoxNews.com (h/t NB reader coffee260), one can read the tale of Nashville, Tennessee, state representative Rob Briley, who "has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and property damage prior to leading authorities on a high-speed chase last September." Briley is a Democrat, but his party affiliation was not mentioned in the 6-paragraph story.
Yet another AP dispatch on another state politician, this one from Maryland, had a quite different treatment of that legislator's political affiliation.
(See Update below for correction and clarification re Google News.)
This one has an interesting twist relating to Google News that I will get to later.
It should be no surprise that the so-called "newspapers of record" did very little with the news earlier this week that the actiing director of an Iraqi psychiatric hospital had been arrested for allegedly supplying mentally ill patients for use as, for lack of a better description, unwillingly co-opted "suicide bombers."
Iraq Hospital Chief Allegedly Supplied Patients for Bombings
The acting director of a Baghdad psychiatric hospital has been arrested on suspicion of supplying Al Qaeda in Iraq with the mentally impaired women it used to blow up two crowded animal markets in the city on Feb. 1, killing about 100 people.
In another example of the belt-tightening of the old media, NBC has announced that they will be closing two of their long standing news bureaus. Gone will be the Chicago and Dallas bureaus to be replaced by "regional hubs."
Insiders tell TVNewser the current NBC News global news gathering system is in for an overhaul. Sources tell us a 9am ET conference call among News division execs and the bureau managers will announce that the current system will be replaced with regional hubs covering large areas of the U.S. and, in some cases, the world.
TVNewser reports that the Chicago office will now answer to the New York office and Dallas will report to Atlanta. No word on how many jobs are to be lost, but it is certain that some will go away.
The blogosphere began buzzing yesterday afternoon because of a Cuban flag superimposed with a picture of Che Guevara that was flown in an volunteer, unofficial office for Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama in Houston, Texas, captured by a local Fox News affiliate.
Allahpundit likened it yesterday to be the equivalent of flying a Timothy McVeigh flag in a John McCain office, and noted that if that had occurred, media outlets would have more than likely made more of an issue of it than they have in this instance.
I don't however, share the condemnation heard yesterday of the Obama campaign itself over this particular story from some of my friends on the right. I think James Joyner's take on the issue is even-handed, in that:
Yesterday my colleague Noel Sheppard noted that some Anglican bishops are urging their flocks to go "carbon" free during Lent. Along the same eco-insanity line, Chicago Tribune's religion blogger Manya Brachear submitted a post on Tuesday wondering if there's a "moral obligation" that Catholic priests have to urge their parishioners to go "fishless" or vegetarian on Fridays given concerns about mercury contamination:
Roman Catholic bishops once urged parishioners to observe meatless Fridays as a year-round act of penance. Since Vatican II, bishops have upheld meatless Fridays only during Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter. The only exception is fish, prompting an annual run on seafood markets and a slew of fish fries in place of church potlucks.
But the dangers of eating tuna and swordfish, which scientists say is loaded with mercury, might be more flagellation than bishops had in mind. With Lent beginning Wednesday, should clergy encourage their flock to give up certain kinds of fish or go vegetarian?
Allahpundit has the video of Fox News anchor letting the former Al Gore [fashion] adviser have it in a posting over at Hot Air. This happened in the 3 o'clock half hour of "Studio B." Here's an excerpt:
SHEP SMITH to NAOMI WOLF: I want to apologize to you for pointing my finger at you. I just get tired of people like you saying every time you're challenged on something that you say that it's something about Fox. It's not something about Fox. I don't have a horse in this race and for you to suggest such a thing is both inaccurate and insulting.
WOLF: Okay, Shep, if you knew my long relationship with Fox--
SMITH: I do know your long relationship with Fox, but I don't think it's fair to just take shots at us because we ask questions. And I think to say that we want to get our babies out of Iraq -- last time I checked everybody over there's at least 18.
Gross's February 6 story was the third in a slideshow lineup on the magazine's front page today (see screencap at right). But far from merely offering a prognosis on the Bush tax cuts, Gross weaved in his own opinion about how a President McCain letting them sunset would be fiscally responsible:
Sometimes a cough is just a cough, and sometimes a cough is a way to avoid answering messy questions about the role of your race-baiting, skirt-chasing ex-president husband with a penchant for perjury might have in your White House.
With just 20 seconds to go in a Super Tuesday interview on San Francisco's KTVU-TV, interviewer Ross McGowan asked, “How will you use your husband, Bill Clinton, in the administration?” As soon as McGowan mentioned Bill's name, Hillary's theatrical and oddly persistent coughing began--and coincidentally continued until time ran out.
Greg Pollowitz of NRO's Media Blog already beat me to the punch, but it bears repeating on NewsBusters. The only fresh angle I can bring to this is that, to my recollection, this is the first time Rosie O'Donnell has attempted an original blog post in prose. For the occasion she blamed President Bush for a nasty staph infection back in 2000.
I'm sure given enough time and inspiration from Joni Mitchell's greatest hits she can re-work her post into her groundbreaking poetry.
Without further ado, the relevant portion of her blog, unedited (lousy formatting left intact), with portions in bold reflecting my emphasis. Oh, by the way, what Rosie really wants you to get out of this anecdote is the importance of voting:
The writers' strike is giving conservative fans of "24" a temporary reprieve from a maddening, preachy plots planned in the new season. So argues Bryan Preston at Hot Air, noting that Hollywood praises liberal anti-military, anti-war on terror fare like "Redacted," while it can't abide a pro-American, pro-war on terror far like "24," despite the latter being vastly more successful as a commercial enterprise than the former.
Preston notes that Day 7 of "24" opens by featuring lead character Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) defending his actions before a congressional committee that will doubtless rail against his methods in obtaining intelligence from terrorists. He notes this merely gives fictional liberal senators air time to echo arguments "24" fans here time and again from real life liberal politicians and the mainstream media (emphasis mine):
National Review's Jonah Goldberg has a new book out, "Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left," that argues essentially that liberalism is a sort of happy-faced fascism. It's a reasonable argument when one thinks about the endless crusades of liberal nanny-state promoters (state-run universal pre-K, the food police, anti-smoking zealots eager to stamp out smoking in bars, etc.).
Yet apparently online bookseller Amazon.com thinks it's something of a joke, categorizing the book among a list of best-selling parodies such as "The Zombie Survival Guide" and "Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth, 73rd Edition." (see screencap below page break):
ABC's Jake Tapper took some jabs at conservative columnist Ann Coulter in a February 1 post to his Political Punch blog. Coulter, no McCain fan she, went so far as to facetiously pledge on "Hannity & Colmes" that she'd campaign for Hillary Clinton if she were the Democratic nominee and Sen. McCain her GOP opponent.
To my judgment, Tapper did land a few good hits in laying out his case for how, objectively speaking, McCain is to the right of Clinton, but he then swung a left hook in his conclusion that unfairly dismissed other conservative critics of McCain (emphasis mine):
The mainstream media are hard at work ginning up economic fears and class envy storylines. One need only look at CBSNews.com and two articles teased on the front page to get how the media are making the economy a melodrama scripted in favor of liberal Democratic talking points:
Granted, that is far more subtle than other economic coverage we've noted at NewsBusters, but the media have a clear interest in furthering news items that fit into liberal Democratic talking points about the economy and the ever-so-evil oil companies.
"How would you like to get the terrorists' perspective on tonight's State of the Union address?" asks Red State's Erick Erickson, noting the prime real estate -- "just three to four steps away from the House Democratic Whip's Office"-- that the al Jazeera network is getting to cover the State of the Union and the corresponding Democratic response tonight.
The mainstream media turned a deaf ear to Canada's conservative government as they withdrew support for a United Nations led anti-racism conferenceon charges that the conference itself is a "a systematic promotion of hatred and bigotry". One Canadian official called the U.N. Durban II conference a "gong show" as Ottawa withdrew all support in protest of the escalating rhetoric against Israel. This of course comes as no surprise considering that the United Nations, in all its limited wisdom, elected Libya to chair the conference, Cuba as the vice chair and named Iran to the organizing committee. (h/t Girl on the Right)
"Whose side is Joe Lieberman On?" demands the subheading for "The Demublican," a January 24 Newsweek Web Exclusive centered on Sen. Joseph Lieberman's (I-Conn.) endorsement of John McCain for President. In the interview, reporter Jeffrey Bartholet presses Lieberman from the left on a host of policy issues and questions and on his loyalty to the Democratic Party. For his part Lieberman often points to issues where McCain has left the conservative fold, such as climate change and the Gang of Fourteen.
At no point, however, does Bartholet ask Lieberman if he feels the "party has left him" on national security/war on terror issues.
Below are the agenda of questions. I've bolded the ones that skew leftward or suggest Lieberman is disloyal or has no good reason to back a Republican over his party's standard bearers. For the full interview, click here.
January 23, Gothamist blogger John Del Signore claimed “rape and torture” are “institutional” in the US military, which “at times condoned and encouraged” “atrocities...genocide" and "butchery.” He said the events aren't isolated, they're “the few war crimes we actually know about” and happen with “increasing frequency during prolonged occupations.”
Del Signore profiled a theater class on military techniques taught by Iraq vet and milblogger (Just Another Soldier) Jason C. Hartley. Del Signore's initial remarks seemed like typical lefty snideness, but in the comment section, they quickly descended into rabid anti-military rhetoric (bold mine throughout):
Time online editor Ana Marie Cox apparently believes a dated quip by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should be considered a "macaca moment." During a Florida event on Monday, Romney, joking with a group of young people, quoted a rather lame song by the Baha Men. After asking who had a camera, he blurted, "Who let the dogs out? Who? Who?"
Now, most people would simply smile or appreciate Romney's friendly, if somewhat dorky, sense of humor. Cox, however, at Time's "Swampland" blog, wondered, "Shouldn't it be a 'macaca moment'? I suspect he's not being pilloried for it because the moment [sic] less offensive than it is cringe-inducing..." She also described the candidate's comments, which occurred at a Martin Luther King day event, as "jive talking." (Hat tip to Hot Air, who also remembered that Cox previously went after Romney for not taking proper care of the family dog.) Is Time's online editor simply looking for a scandal, any scandal, to hit Mitt Romney with?
In a post to his Change of Subject blog, Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn practically pressed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to go further than just stopping short of calling former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) liars:
Why stop short? The Clintons are lying about Obama's remarks on Reagan
(Barack) Obama stopped just short of calling (Hillary) Clinton and her husband liars... from the Swamp's live blog of last night's Democratic debate.
Hmm. I see no reason to stop short. Bill and Hillary Clinton have lied brazenly about Obama's recent statement about Ronald Reagan.
Zorn then turned to comments from both Clintons and an extended transcript of Obama's remarks to give readers a full and fair context for those remarks. Zorn got to the heart of the matter by concluding that the Clintons are hoping to tap residual left-wing hatred of Reagan even though they should and likely do know that the Gipper's political prowess offers lessons for Democrats, even if they lay asunder his policy goals (emphasis mine):
Ordinarily there wouldn't be a link between an awards ceremony and the anniversary of legally sanctioned abortion. But this was before "Juno."
Today marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case which gave women access to legal abortions. This morning the Academy Award nominees were also announced, and "Juno," a movie in which a teenage girl chooses adoption over abortion, scored nominations for Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture.