Jim Avila may not be a household name, but he has become one of the most prominent news correspondents on television – averaging 130 reports a year since 1997. But he’s done much more than just report the news, Avila has become an activist.
He made that name for himself and sullied the term “lean beef” early in 2012 with a series of stories repeatedly calling the beef “pink slime.” On Sept. 13, Beef Products Inc. filed a 1.2 billion lawsuit against ABC for the coverage of “pink slime.” Avila is specifically named in this lawsuit for his part in the anti-meat attacks. “Avila knowingly or recklessly made multiple false and disparaging statements regarding BPI and LFTB during ABC broadcasts, in ABC online reports and social media postings,” read the lawsuit. That was just one of four separate anti-meat topics Avila has pursued in 2012 alone.
News outlets are focusing on the latest gaffe from Vice President Joe Biden who said to a largely African-American audience that the GOP was “going to put y’all back in chains.”
Just over two years ago, the gaffemaster joked that he had “never had a gaffe” in a July 18, 2010 interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper.
Even then, that claim was itself a joke. It came only a few months after his March 23, 2010 announcement that the signing of healthcare law was “a big f---ing deal.”
Other famous gaffes include when Biden asked wheelchair bound Missouri state Sen. Chuck Graham to “stand up, let the people see you,” and when Biden told an Indian American man that “in Delaware…you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a light Indian accent. I’m not joking.”
The three major networks have repeatedly glossed over Biden's blunders. Brent Bozell, the President of the Media Research Center, described Biden as a "gaffe-a-minute disaster" in a recent column.
ABC reporter Arlette Saenz reported for The Note on Joe Biden’s speech Sunday in the Green Bay area, including this statement: "In Afghanistan, we have lost 1,980 fallen angels as of yesterday, and I’m precise because every single one of those lives deserves to be recognized. Wrong: The U.S. death toll in Afghanistan at the end of August was 2,101.
Biden somehow subtracted from the Defense Department count, ignoring three civilian casualties and 118 soldiers who died in other countries after medical evacuation. Did they not deserve to be recognized?
Yahoo has fired its Washington bureau chief David Chalian after NewsBusters exclusively revealed his offensive remarks that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his wife Ann were "happy to have a party with black people drowning."
During live coverage of the Republican National Convention here in Tampa, Yahoo News Washington bureau chief David Chalian provided the perfect example of the pervasive anti-Republican bias Mitt Romney faces in his bid to unseat President Barack Obama.
In video broadcast Monday night by ABC and Yahoo over the Internet, Chalian can be heard claiming that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann are unconcerned about the fate of residents of the New Orleans area who are currently being hit by Hurricane Isaac.
Sam Youngman at Reuters, and several others have attempted to pounce on a comment about "big business" GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney made at a Minnesota fundraiser on Thursday as some kind of equivalent to President Obama's out-of-touch assertion that "the private sector is doing fine" back in June.
In fact, what Romney actually said in large part explains why the private sector isn't doing fine. Here is the relevant text from Youngman (bolds are mine):
ABC News's Jake Tapper noticed an interesting trend with President Obama. He hasn't been around to take any questions from the press lately. In fact, he has evaded the national press corps for more than two months. However, as Tapper noted on his blog today, Obama did have time to talk to "reporters from People Magazine and Entertainment Tonight." In addition, "during his three-day Iowa bus tour this week, for example, he conducted three interviews with local radio stations, including a sports talk radio show, and a roundtable discussion with columnists from three Iowa papers, in addition to sitting down with People and Entertainment Tonight. On July 12, he did an interview with Charlie Rose for CBS This Morning."
ABC News is missing no avenue in its promotion of ObamaCare. The liberal network's website trumpeted the news that, under the President's health care law, "it is against the law to discriminate against transgender and LGBT patients in federally funded healthcare programs."
Writer Susan Donaldson James offered several sympathetic stories of individuals who, previously, struggled to be receive treatment after undergoing sex change operations. Ms. Donaldson James promoted the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and their study "Injustice at Every Turn." The author insisted that the group "paints a bleak picture of life as a transgender person in the United States. It revealed harassment in education, employment, housing and health care, as well as in the government and prison systems."
"Summer’s in full swing, and unless your family is rather Romney-esque, there’s a chance you’ll be spending some time in one of the country’s hundreds of national parks. " That's how Washington Post "In the Loop" columnist worked in a gratuitous swipe at the presumptive GOP presidential nominee in today's "In the Loop" column in which he interviewed Jonathan Jarvis, the head of the National Park Service.
It's tempting to think this was an out-of-the-blue snark by Kamen, but you will recall that on June 25 he asked his readers for their input on where the Obamas should vacation, cheekily noting that it was "our civic duty" to help pick the next vacation spot for the first family -- although it appears Kamen never had such a contest when President Bush was in office.
Despite several updates to the story first reported by Bloomberg last night that the Democratic National Convention's "move" of its "celebration" originally scheduled to take place at Charlotte Motor Speedway is really a cancellation likely driven by money problems, the Associated Press has not updated its virtual relay of the DNC's related press release published late last night.
Additionally, in its brief story on Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill's decision not to attending the convention, the AP made no reference to the nine other prominent Democratic Party politicians who have decided they'd be better off not being seen in the same convention venue with their party's incumbent presidential candidate.
If you're starting to lose Jonathan Alter, reporters at Politico, and other left-leaning outlets, you're starting to get into trouble. Double that if you can't even get Julie Pace at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, to muster more than eight paragraphs relating to a 53-minute speech pre-positioned as a "major address."
Hunter Walker has compiled several less than complimentary tweets at Politicker, including the following:
According to ABC News' Matt Negrin, Republicans are "victimizing" and "demonizing" Attorney General Eric Holder. The ABC network has almost completely ignored the growing Fast and Furious scandal, but an online article written by Mr. Negrin put the blame on the GOP. (Negrin mocks the concept of media bias on his Facebook page. See screen cap below.)
In fact, it seems Negrin's ABCNews.com article was so biased, the network altered the headline. The original title spewed, "Demonizing Attorney General Eric Holder, GOP Is Fast and Furious." The altered headline reads: "Against Attorney General Eric Holder, GOP Is Fast and Furious." (The first version can still be found in the hyper link.) In his piece, Negrin whined, "There's little question that Republicans want to use the demonization of Holder as a political issue."
ABC reporter and global warming enthusiast Bill Blakemore on Sunday condescendingly dismissed climate change skeptics as "denialists." In a piece on ABCNews.com, he called for yet more advocacy on the part of journalists.
After noting that confidence in the science of climate change has varied from year to year, Blakemore huffed that these beliefs "don't seem to be responding all that much, [Professor Jon Krosnick] says, to whatever the global warming denialist campaigns may have been doing."
Following up on P.J. Gladnick's NewsBusters story about reports of non-existent neo-Nazi "patrols" in Sanford, Fla. in response to potential racial violence there, ABC News.com's Candace Smith apparently hasn't gotten the memo that there are no such patrols going on. As Gladnick reported two days ago, Professor William Jacobson of the Legal Insurrection blog did the legwork that reporters like Smith are supposed to do. Get this -- he e-mailed the Sanford Police Department and simply asked them if there were indeed neo-Nazis patrolling the streets of Sanford. "No confirmed reports" was the reply. Jacobson then -- get this -- followed up by asking the police if they just weren't yet aware of any patrols: There was "no indication" of any such patrols, the Sanford police responded.
From what I can tell, no one in the establishment press yesterday attempted to quantify the total employment impact of yesterday's announcement by Best Buy that it will reduce its headquarters headcount by 400 and close 50 stores. One thing is certain: It's not just 400, as the headlines and verbiage in certain media reports might lead readers to believe -- and it's not excusable to say that the company itself didn't name a specific number of employees affected by the store closures.
An estimate of how many jobs will really be lost is after the jump, followed by a few misleading media examples. Note that the media review is based on reports from Thursday; today, we began learning which stores will be closing. They include five in the Twin Cities area where the company is headquartered.
Get that totally unnecessary chyron out of there, ABC News!
Why is your "ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE" chyron covering up the back of George Zimmerman's head in the police surveillance video of him arriving at the police station soon after Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida? There is a big controversy out there as to whether Zimmerman actually did suffer certain injuries including a bruise to the back of his head during the fight with Martin. You would think ABC News would allow an unobstructed view of the back of Zimmerman's head. Instead the head was covered for much of the time by a completely redundant chyron since there was already an unobtrusive ABC News label in the lower right of the screen.
A suspicious mind might even think that ABC News was trying to cover something up with that annoying chyron. And one such person is Bob Owens, a Pajamas Media contributor, who makes just such an accusation in his personal blog:
On Friday, Darren Samuelsohn at the Politico (HT Hot Air), the place where it seems that inconvenient stories go so the Associated Press, the New York Times and the rest of the establishment press can claim they have an excuse not to cover them (respective proofs as of about 3:30 p.m. in the current instance are here and here), covering -- or I should say attempting to cover -- the latest of the White House's ritual Friday document dumps, reported that a White House communications official rejected an apparent proposal to seat Solyndra executives at the President's January 2011 State of the Union address, and that others within the White House already knew that Solyndra was in deep trouble before then.
And he almost got to the real meat of the story, but not quite. In this instance, not quite isn't anywhere near good enough (bolds are mine throughout this post), nor is the "nothing new here, you really don't need to read this" headline:
Everybody, including yours truly, makes mistakes. But a major news organization should be able to catch whoppers like the ones readers will see shortly, or at least fix them in short order if they get posted.
A Google search on the title of an ABC report on gas prices ("Bumpy Ride Ahead: Gas Prices May Soon Hit $4 a Gallon") at about 8:10 a.m. ET indicates that the story went up at about 6 p.m. last night, so the pathetic verbiage readers will see after the jump has gone unrepaired for 15 hours, and counting:
One web site devoted to "fighting the smears" (i.e., pretending that what is true really isn't) apparently isn't enough for Barack Obama's reelection campaign. There are now three, plus so-called "truth teams" of activists whose mission it will be to serve as rapid-response purveyors of what will likely heaping helpings of fabricated refutations.
This news is now officially 24 hours old; its first appearance, at least per Google News, came via the Washington Post and appeared at the web site of the Minneapolis Star Tribune shortly after midnight Monday morning. To no one's surprise, a search of the Associated Press's national site on "Obama truth" (not in quotes) returns nothing relevant, as does an advanced search at the New York Times on "Obama truth team" (also not in quotes). Here are key paragraphs from David Nakamura's story as it appeared at the Washington Post:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on a trip underwritten by the U.S. State Department (aren't justices expected to keep their distances from the government to protect their perceived impartiality?), was in Egypt on Wednesday at a Cairo University law school seminar. While there, according to the Associated Press's Mark Sherman, she told students that (in Sherman's words) "she was inspired by last year's protests that led to the end of Hosni Mubarak's regime" and to speak to them (in her words) "during this exceptional transitional period to a real democratic state." The news that Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties now control about 75% of the seats in the country's parliament seems not to have registered with Ginsburg or Sherman -- or, for that matter, the State Department.
Sherman's AP story failed to note what Ms. Ginsburg said about the U.S. Constitution in an Egyptian TV interview, as did virtually all of the rest of the establishment press. ABC's Ariane de Vogue is currently the most notable exception, but as readers will see, she clearly buried the lede. Here are key paragraphs from her report (the related video is at Hot Air; the relevant portion begins at the 9:28 mark; bolds are mine):
In 1998, we learned that Al and Tipper Gore made $353 in deductible charitable contributions against income of $198,000 the previous year. In the decade from 1998-2007, Joe and Jill Biden averaged $369 per year in such reported contributions. Bill and Hillary Clinton were infamous for taking charitable contributions for used underwear.
The aforementioned facts are generally not known by people who don't closely follow the news, because not much was made of them. But from the point of view of ABC News, particularly the hatchet men disguised as investigative reporters Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross, Mitt and Ann Romney have a much bigger problem than the Gores, Bidens, and Clintons: They, and particularly Mitt through Bain Capital (dubious, as we'll see), have given too much money to a particular charity. Because the reporters apparently want readers and viewers to see this as something underhanded, they describe charity as "sending" instead of "giving":
At the Associated Press on Friday, reporter Jim Kuhnhenn provided yet another reason why characterizing the wire service as The Administration's Press is perfectly appropriate.
In wake of President Obama's use of a "signing statement" objecting on constitutional grounds to congressionally-imposed "restrictions on his ability to transfer detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States," Kuhnhenn wrote that presidential candidate Obama "promised to make his application (of) the (signing statement) tool more transparent." No he didn't, Jim; as will be shown, he promised not to use them. Kuhnhenn's first three paragraphs, plus two later ones describing another signing statement matter, ran thusly (also note how the term "signing statement" was kept out of the story's headline):
ABC's Jonathan Karl Tuesday published a piece now prominently featured at the Drudge Report with a headline guaranteed to be the Obama-loving media's lead story concerning something Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wrote over five years ago: "Gingrich ’06 Memo: 'Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney' on Health Care."
Inside the actual document uncovered by BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, the former Speaker didn't "agree entirely with Gov. Romney" at all (emphasis added):
It’s the Christmas season, and ABCnews.com is celebrating Christ’s birth in the way that media types know best: promoting homosexuality and bashing traditional Christians for their unwavering stance on homosexuality.
A Dec 23 piece (in the “Health” Section) by reporter Susan Donaldson James, titled “Holiday Homophobia: Is It Christian to Reject Gay Partners?”, prominently features two challenges to traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality, without any counter voice supporting Christian teaching on homosexuality.
I’m sorry to say the good people at CatholicVote.org are apparently starstruck. Blogged Josh Merceryesterday: "The Gingrich campaign contacted me directly last night about the comments that he made to ABC News. The campaign sent me the following statement from Newt Gingrich. (Which is also on their website). I am very glad that the Gingrich campaign was quick to respond to the fallout from the ABC News interview and that they came out with a strong pro-life statement which reaffirms the scientific fact that life begins at conception."
Really? A personal note is all it takes to move past Newt Gingrich’sunequivocal statement to ABC’s Jake Tapper on December 2, that “when a woman has [a] fertilized egg and that’s been successfully implanted that now you’re dealing with life”?
As we get nearer to Election Day, Americans on both sides of the political aisle must be wondering if the media will have any limits concerning what is an acceptable attack on one of President Obama's opponents.
Consider that on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, as Republican presidential candidate and sitting member of Congress Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was introduced Monday, the band played a song called "Lyin' A-- B--ch" (videos follow with commentary):
At the Associated Press this afternoon, White House Correspondent Ben Feller relayed the essence of a statement by Obama administration spokesman Jay Carney about how the President believes that, in Feller's words, "it's up to New York and other municipalities to decide how much force to use in dealing with Occupy Wall Street demonstrations." Feller failed to mention both the President's previous endorsement of the goals of the Occupy protesters, and his inexcusable silence as the encampments have devolved into disease-infested swamps of criminal and antisocial behavior. How convenient.
The morning shows of ABC, CBS, and NBC on Tuesday devoted just 19 seconds to the arrests of 75 people in northern California, after police evicted Occupy Oakland from their encampment in front of city hall there. The Early Show devoted a news brief to the story during its last half hour, noting the violent reaction from some of the protesters. Good Morning America and the Today show both punted.
News anchor Jeff Glor gave the news brief 35 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour, and reported that "police are confronting 'Occupy Oakland' protesters this morning in northern California...Officers were sent before dawn to kick out about 300 demonstrators who have been camped out in downtown Oakland. Some protesters threw rocks and bottles. Police responded in some cases by making arrests, tearing down tents, and firing tear gas."