By Brad Wilmouth | April 27, 2011 | 1:09 PM EDT

 As previously documented by NewsBusters, Helen Thomas - former columnist and White House correspondent for both UPI and Hearst Newspapers - was scheduled to speak at a left-wing anti-Israel rally next month during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming visit to America. But the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that Thomas "withdrew her participation fearing she will become the focus of the events."

Thomas, who last year infamously was recorded declaring that Israeli Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Poland and Germany, was quoted as saying of the upcoming protest, "I am delighted that people are coming together for this gathering, and I want to make sure that the focus stays on AIPAC and U.S. policy, not me."

 A statement released by the organizers of the "Move Over AIPAC" Rally reads:

By Tom Blumer | March 30, 2011 | 5:59 PM EDT

As a reminder that leftists have been poisoning the wells of civility and basic human decency for a very, very long time, I present these two items from the Associated Press and United Press International on April 1 and 2, 1981, respectively:

  • Via AP, dateline Tulsa -- "Teachers Stunned as Children Cheer Reagan Shooting"
  • More generalized coverage from UPI -- "Children Cheer News President Was Shot"

Details are after the jump.

By Noel Sheppard | November 26, 2010 | 10:09 AM EST

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin on Thursday struck back at media members that bothered reporting the slip of the tongue she made the previous day concerning North Korea being America's ally.

In a Facebook posting entitled "A Thanksgiving Message to All 57 States," Palin mocked news outlets for not giving similar coverage to gaffes made by Barack Obama:

By Dave Pierre | November 13, 2010 | 3:34 PM EST

(HT: Phil Lawler/CatholicCulture.org) Major news outlets delivered a collective message about the Catholic Church this week. Here were the headlines:

  • "Pope orders sex abuse summit" (Boston Globe)
  • "Pope to Hold Sex-Abuse Summit" (Wall Street Journal)
  • "Italy: Cardinals to Ponder Response by Church to Sexual Abuse Cases" (New York Times)
  • "Pope summons cardinals over abuse: Vatican" (AFP)
  • "Cardinals to address sex abuse" (UPI)
  • "Pope calls meeting of cardinals on sex abuse" (Washington Post)

From what is presented, one would guess that Pope Benedict XVI called Cardinals and said, "Hey, let's get together and discuss the sex abuse scandals."

The problem: It didn't happen.

By Tom Blumer | August 12, 2010 | 12:46 AM EDT
NameThatPartyWednesday evening, Brent Baker at NewsBusters noted that two of the Big Three television networks failed to tag Dan Rostenkowsi, the former long-time congressman from Chicago who was ousted from his seat in 1994 over corruption charges and ended doing prison time, as a Democrat. Rostenkowski (RIP), who was 82, died yesterday.

At the five major wire services whose reports I reviewed -- The Associated Press, Reuters, UPI, AFP, and the business-oriented Bloomberg News -- Rosty's Democratic affiliation made at least one appearance. But the prominence and directness of those appearances varied widely.

Not surprisingly, the Associated Press and writer Don Babwin did the worst job of identifying Rosty's party, waiting until the eleventh paragraph to directly tag him (the eighth paragraph contains a generic reference to the "Chicago Democratic machine"), and poured it on the thickest when referring to the supposedly beloved bygone days of bipartisanship:

By Noel Sheppard | June 24, 2010 | 1:12 AM EDT

On Monday, 87 Senators signed a letter to President Obama affirming their support for Israel while urging his.

This comes in response to last month's highly-publicized flotilla incident in the Mediterranean Sea and the United Nations predictable anti-Israel reaction.

A similar letter has been circulated in the House that has apparently garnered 307 signatures.

Despite the overwhelming bipartisan outcry -- something rather rare in Washington these days to be sure -- very few American media outlets bothered to report the news.

Fortunately, the Hill published the following Wednesday (h/t Weasel Zippers):

By Tom Blumer | June 22, 2010 | 2:12 AM EDT
cnnapCNN has announced that it will cease using all content from the Associated Press effective June 30, and from all appearances will take a run at becoming a credible wire service competitor.

Although it would be easy to dismiss this as the blind leaving the blind, this development seems like it has the potential to alter the news landscape and temper some of the worst excesses of press bias and ignorance.

Here are a few paragraphs from CNN's internal announcement, as carried at Media Bistro:

To: CNN Staff
From: Jim Walton

We are taking an important next step in the content-ownership process we began in 2007 to more fully leverage CNN's global newsgathering investments. Starting today, CNN newsgathering will be the primary source of all content for all of our platforms and services. We will no longer use AP materials or services. The content we offer will be distinctive, compelling and, I am proud to say, our own.

By Tom Blumer | May 11, 2010 | 9:43 PM EDT

RattnerInDetroitForFed051010If a conservative or Republican uttered the nonsense to be revealed shortly, we'd justifiably never hear the end of it on the late-night comedy shows and elsewhere. As it is, former car czar Steve Rattner's "creative" term for fibbing has and probably will continue to get little coverage outside of Detroit.

Rattner's risible rendition of reality spewed forth before he spoke at a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago-Detroit District conference. Here are excerpts from the coverage by the Detroit News's Robert Snell (HT Laura Ingraham), with help from David "I think Toyota bragged about avoiding safety recalls, so they did" Shepardson (bolds are mine):

General Motors Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Ed Whitacre may have stretched the truth in a commercial saying the automaker had repaid its federal obligations, former autos czar Steve Rattner said today.

GM "may have slightly elasticized the reality of things," Rattner told reporters ahead of a speech today.

By Tom Blumer | May 10, 2010 | 1:48 PM EDT
ObamaAtHamptonU0510Yesterday, in the midst of the commencement address he delivered at Hampton University, President Obama made a startling "admission" (readers will see why "admission" is in quotes shortly):
And meanwhile, you're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank that high on the truth meter. And with iPods and iPads; and Xboxes and PlayStations -- none of which I know how to work -- (laughter) -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it's putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.

There are more troubling overtones inherent in the excerpt that many observers have already noted. I'll stay away from them for the purposes of this post.

Those matters aside, there are still a few pesky items that arise from the bolded portion of the excerpt.

By Tom Blumer | January 26, 2010 | 11:18 AM EST

Sometimes getting hung up on percentage increases causes one to miss what's going on with the actual numbers.

Such is the case in a January 26 front page story by USA Today's Richard Wolf. USAT's is the only recent original coverage I have found thus far relating to increases in the national welfare rolls during the recession. (An unbylined story at UPI merely reports on what USAT's Wolf wrote.)

USAT's Wolf let himself get distracted by double-digit caseload increases in certain states, but missed the big story: California, with roughly 12% of the country's population, was responsible for over half of the increase in both families and recipients receiving benefits. The reason the state's percentage increase was smaller than several others was because its caseload is already scandalously out of control.

Wolf also made a point of comparing the relatively small increase in the national welfare caseload to steep rises in the number of Americans receiving food stamp and unemployment insurance benefits.

Here are the first five and final paragraphs from Wolf, followed by a closer look at the numbers:

By Jeff Poor | May 6, 2009 | 1:07 PM EDT

Now that Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. has been named the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, some on the far-left are gunning for Alabama's junior senator. The battle is happening as President Barack Obama is on the verge of naming an appointee to the Supreme Court to fill void of Justice David Souter.Some of the left-wing points that suggest Sessions has racist tendencies were incorporated into a May 6 Politico story by John Bresnahan and Manu Raju.

"By elevating Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to their top spot on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republicans have selected their chief inquisitor for President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court nominee: a Southern, white conservative man who has drawn fire for racially insensitive comments in the past," Bresnahan and Manu Raju wrote. "Democrats like how this is looking."

The story sets up Sessions to be on the defensive about race by spinning the senator's own history. According to the Politico story, Sessions had been accused of unfairly targeting black civil rights workers for election fraud charges as a federal prosecutor during a 1986 Senate hearing for a spot on the federal bench.

By Warner Todd Huston | May 4, 2009 | 2:42 AM EDT

As expected, Joe Biden is fast becoming the clown prince of Washington D.C. His never ending case of athlete's mouth resulting from his penchant for sticking his foot between his chompers is something that should be no surprise to any long-time Biden watcher. But, amusingly, UPI tries to re-center the Biden story, rescuing him from ridicule, to discuss the supposedly important things that President Obama has entrusted to the vice president.

In "Biden soldiers on amid comedic jabs," we find UPI trying to tell us of all the important, important stuff our gabby VP is in charge of. But even the UPI can't hide the fact that these things that Obama put Biden "in charge" of are nothing more than meaningless make-work programs.