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."
Concerning President Obama, his obviously most important quote of the past 48 hours is his statement to ABC's Jake Tapper (transcript here) that concerning the economy, "I believe all the choices we've made have been the right ones ..."
Clearly, such a remark, if widely known, would be problematic for the President among quite a number of unemployed and underemployed Americans. In the New Media age, of course, it can't be kept totally under wraps, but at the two organizations which still consider themselves the nation's news gatekeepers, Obama's statement apparently hasn't made the cut. Consider it the latest installment in what might as well be dubbed, "Operation Protect the President."
ABC's George Stephanopoulos lobbied President Obama Monday to "put a stop" to Bank of America's new service charge for its debit card customers.
"You might have a new issue on your plate," the former Democratic political operative advised the President about the new five dollar monthly debit card fee for Bank of America customers. In the interview which aired on ABCNews.com and Yahoo.com at 2:35 p.m. EDT, Stephanopoulos pulled the question from the audience and beseeched Obama "Can you stop this service charge?"
That civility thing which Democrats and the Left thought to be all-important earlier this year is sooooo January. Unless it changes its stripes overnight, the incivility and hostility on display today in Detroit, which hasn't been seen much in establishment press reports to this point, won't appear on the Big 3 Networks' morning shows tomorrow. The American people really need to see what has become of the labor movement, and the type of behavior its head cheerleader in the White House condones.
The credit downgrade must be having truly deleterious effects on New York-based reporters. At least one is hyping the merits of "freeganism," which is just a politically correct euphemism for dumpster diving.
"Amid S&P downgrades and widespread panic about financial markets, an anti-consumerism movement quietly marches on: Freeganism," ABCNews.com's Reshma Kirpalani argued in an August 8 article:
As Clay Waters at the Media Research Center's Times Watch reported earlier today ("One of Obama's Emotional Arguments for Obama-Care Proven Wrong in NYT Staffer's New Book"), the New York Times's Kevin Sack ran a story yesterday which "reflects badly on Barack Obama and how he misled people in his campaign for Obama-care."
By failing to initially cover a story millions of people nevertheless learned of -- the presidential gaffe noted at NewsBusters by Matt Sheffield, among others, on Thursday morning -- the Associated Press created a bit of a problem for itself. In a speech to soldiers at Fort Drum, President Obama "mistakenly identified a fallen member of that division as another soldier in a completely different Army unit who is alive" -- both of whom were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Last Wednesday as Rep. Peter King conducted hearings on Muslim inmate radicalization in America's prisons, MSNBC was busy attacking the proceeding as unnecessary and/or unfairly targeted to unfairly single out the Islamic faith.
Many people, including yours truly, believe that one of the primary reasons for the Politico's existence is to carry negative stories about Democrats and leftists which the rest of the establishment press then mostly chooses to ignore ("Why should we cover that? It's at the Politico already").
UPDATE:As seen here, the very earliest AP reports appear to have identified Edwards as a Democrat (the age of the item may not correspond with when the AP subscriber actually received it), but the latest ones, including this item found at AP's home site (as of 12:59 p.m.), do not. UPDATE 2: A mixed bag -- The 6:55 p.m. report from the same AP reporters (pic here) notes that Edwards was the "2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee," and waits until Paragraph 4 to note that the possible indictment stems from the 2007-2008 campaign.
In their 11:29 a.m. report (saved here in case it gets updated, and for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) on the apparently imminent indictment of 2004 and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, Associated Press reporters Mike Baker and Gary D. Robertson did not identify Edwards as a Democrat, nor did they identify any of his campaign associates (e.g., Andrew Young, Fred Baron) as Democrats. No form of the word "Democrat" appears in the report as it was posted at 11:29 a.m.
Here are the first seven paragraphs of the AP pair's effort:
Last week, the media rightfully crowed over U.S. success in killing Osama Bin Laden, an unquestioned bad guy in the war on terror. They noted that intelligence gathered from that raid may have led to an unsuccessful U.S. Predator drone attack on Anwar Al Awlaki, leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen. Unfortunately, while Al Awlaki is very much as bad as Bin Laden, the media haven’t always known it.
The mainstream media have recently described this America-born terrorist as a “central figure” of Al Qaeda and the New York Times, ABC News, and MSNBC have all called him “radical” when reporting on the recent attempted drone attack. Al Awlaki has been linked to the 2009 Christmas Day Underwear bombing attempt in Detroit, the Fort Hood Shooting and the failed Times Square bombing.
But just 10 years ago they claimed he was a “moderate” a bridge-builder, and a “prayer leader.”
That could accurately describe Republicans' relationship to the liberal media on budget matters.
While the mainstream media often raise a clamor about GOP plans to cut back on arts funding -- see this article from yesterday's Washington Post -- it seems any move to do the opposite will also face scorn.
Take ABCNews.com's "The Blotter" and its take on Rep. John Mica's (R-Fla.) proposal to expand funding the National Art Gallery:
Earlier this afternoon, the House of Representatives voted for an amendment to a spending bill that would strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding.
Much of the debate on the measure happened last night, including a speech in opposition of the move by a Democratic congresswoman, Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who recalled her own abortion procedure.
After the vote came down today, ABCNews.com's Matthew Jaffe and John Parkinson posted an article that was skewed in favor of supporters of Planned Parenthood, featuring a video of Speier's nearly 3-minute-long speech and quoting heavily from that speech.
"Amendment Passes Despite Stunning Personal Testimony From Rep. Jackie Speier," lamented the subheadline to the story. [see screen capture after page break]
The ABCNews.com website on Tuesday used the Sesame Street character Big Bird to worry about potential Republican cuts to PBS. Next to a picture of the forlorn puppet and some concerned children, a graphic alerted, "Big Bird on the Chopping Block?"
The article, by Huma Khan, discussed the efforts by the House GOP to cut of funding to PBS, but didn't feature a single quote from any such Republican.
Yet, the reporter made sure to highlight fears by NPR's Vivian Schiller: "[Cuts would] would diminish stations' ability to bring high-quality local, national and international news to their communities, as well as local arts, music and cultural programming that other media don't present."
A man is arrested and detained for months without any charges being brought against him. He is being held in deplorable conditions, forced to endure extreme physical and mental distress. He is exposed to the same ‘torture’ tactics that other enemies of the United States have allegedly suffered through.
So why isn’t the Commander-in-Chief taking heat for this travesty of justice?
Because this isn’t the Bush administration.
Firedoglake blogger, David House, has been detailing a recent visit with Bradley Manning, accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, at a military prison at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia (h/t Weasel Zippers). Of course, House bemoaned the ‘inhumane’ treatment of Manning, describing the toll that months of solitary confinement have taken on his physical and mental well-being.
AFP ran with the story and made it clear that they had no intention of offering a balanced report. In fact, viewing the headline, one would never know that the story came from an extremely liberal website, reading more as fact than a slanted accusation.
Correction: My initial post incorrectly conveyed that Chandra Levy was an intern for then-Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.). She was in fact an intern for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
"Salvadoran Immigrant Ingmar Guandique Found Guilty of Murdering D.C. Intern Chandra Levy [12:45 p.m. ET]"
That was the breaking news headline that was blasted to my inbox from ABCNews.com regarding today's murder conviction of the suspect in the 2001 murder of federal government intern Chandra Levy.
In the Associated Press story by Matthew Barakat at the ABCNews.com website, there is no mention of the fact that Guandique is an illegal immigrant nor of the fact that he is involved in the ruthless gang Mara Salvatrucha, more commonly known as MS-13. This despite the fact that numerous news reports during Guandique's trial noted that he often wore turtleneck shirts in the courtroom to hide his gang tattoo.
You can clearly see that gang tattoo in an April 2009 file photo ABCNews.com included in their breaking news story.
On Sunday, I examined the causes of the nation's toxic political atmosphere and amongst other things accused the press of fanning the fires of discontent.
Two days later, an ABC News/Yahoo News poll reported by Michael Calderone found 63 percent of Americans believe the mainstream media are more interested in encouraging political division than cooperation between the Parties:
In the past eight days, ABC News has filed twoshocking stories about "a serious epidemic" of sexual abuse and rape of children in Kenya. Not only did the network report that "over 1,000 teachers have been fired for sexually abusing girls over the last two years," but it also relayed systemic cover-ups, police corruption, and perpetrator interference.
And while the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe have frantically and endlessly trumpeted decades-old abuse allegations in the Catholic Church from anywhere in the world, neither paper has found a single square inch to dedicate to these sickening new revelations.
In New Mexico yesterday and probably in several other appearances, President Barack Obama criticized the House Republicans' Pledge to America on several fronts. To me, only because I tend to look at the real numbers during most months, his most obviously off-base critique had to do with federal education spending (as carried at Jake Tapper's Political Punch blog at ABC):
Obama said the Republicans would to cut education spending by 20 percent in order to pay for some of the tax breaks, a charge House Republicans say is inaccurate.
Tapper is one of the few establishment media reporters left who isn't afraid to question liberal authority, but he missed a golden opportunity to dig into facts that might have left him wondering why the Republicans are being so timid.
ABC News has changed the headline of an online video to "Christine O'Donnell's Masturbation Argument" from the more inappropriately suggestive "Christine O'Donnell's Masturbation Stance," but that doesn't mean the network has grown up about the sex-related beliefs of conservative candidates.
ABC posted video on its news website Sept. 16 from a monologue by comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who hosts a late night show on its network. The network's social networking team also publicized the link via Twitter using the "masturbation stance" pun. The headline on the video has since been changed, but the Twitter message remains active.
"Nobody knows what this woman does for a living, if anything," Kimmel said. "All we do know is that she's gone on the record to oppose masturbation, for real." He referred to a 1996 documentary that aired on MTV in which O'Donnell made a Biblical argument against self-pleasure based on Jesus's exhortation that lust in the heart is the same as adultery.
In a slam on another prominent conservative's family, Kimmel joked that, "I have a feeling Christine O'Donnell opposes masturbation in the same way Bristol Palin opposes premarital sex." Bristol Palin, of course, had a baby out of wedlock and now publicly advocates abstinence before marriage.
They'll have all sorts of excuses (but only if asked) about why it happened: It's because they had a lot of guest anchors last week, it was hot, summer vacation season is still on (though lots of kids around in Greater Cincinnati were already back in school by last Wednesday), cable is killing us, blah-blah, etc., etc.
But the Big Three networks won't be able to avoid the fact that their ongoing decline reached a painful low last week of 18.82 million average viewers. Here is the graphic that appeared this morning at ABC's lipstick-on-a-pig blog post:
I don't know whether that's an all-time low, but Kevin Allocca at Media Bistro, who hadn't posted the full numbers as of the time of this post, has noted that one of those networks indeed scraped bottom last week: