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.
A couple of NewsBusters posts during the past week -- one from yours truly and another courtesy of Ken Shepherd -- have pointed to the press's reluctance to identify the Democratic Party affiliations of indicted Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson and his also-indicted wife Leslie, who is a County Council member.
Today, the Associated Press's Brian Witte kept up the wire service's tradition of either not naming the party of an indicted Democrat or deferring that identification until very late in the report (in the apparent hope that subscribing outlets picking up the story won't use it). Jack Johnson's party affiliation was saved for the 19th paragraph; Witte never identified his wife's party affiliation. Witte further quoted a Republican who commented on the situation in Paragraph 10, and noted that said Republican "ran against Johnson in 2002" in Paragraph 11, leaving it vague as to whether it was a primary or general election contest.
Finally, Witte gave voice to people who believes that the Johnsons and ultimately other county officials are being targeted based on their African-American ethnicity -- in county where two-thirds of its residents are African-American.
That's bad enough. But a Tuesday report covering the latest release of the Housing Market Index (HMI) by the National Association of Home Builders demonstrates how utterly determined the wire service is to put gobs of lipstick on a very ugly pig.
For context, I'll show readers the complete 25-year history of said index.
First, I am grateful that Edenhofer, a German economist who is "co-chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Working Group III on Mitigation of Climate Change," has a last name on which searching is easy. I quickly determined that his name last name doesn't currently come up in searches at the Associated Press's main web site, the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Los Angeles Times.
That's because he hasn't said or done anything newsworthy, right? Wrong. What's newsworthy is my second reason for thanking him. First covered at NewsBusters yesterday by Noel Sheppard, and described this evening in an Investors Business Daily editorial, Mr. Edenhofer has proffered the principal motivation behind the "climate change movement" -- redistribution of wealth (bolds are mine):
Persistent pursuit of a story by journalists has in all too many cases been replaced by a dogged determination to keep politically incorrect facts out of important stories.
An Associated Press item out of Grand Island, Nebraska this morning illustrates this point. It's not very difficult to identify aspects of the story reporter Josh Funk worked mightily to leave out (bolded items hinting at what's not there and related number tags are mine):
Gosh, what's a bigger story -- that to the extent it was ever happening at all the housing recovery "seems to have been aborted," or that according to the government there was very little inflation in October?
An Oxford University think tank is taking the media to task for not doing more to whip up a frenzy about global warming.
Apparently the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism crunched the numbers and found that "[l]ess than 10 percent of the news articles written about last year's climate summit in Copenhagen dealt primarily with the science of climate change."
The study lamented the attention that was given to the ClimateGate scandal.
When you increase demand for something, its price should go up.
In the case of bonds, if the demand for them increases, their price should go up, and their effective interest-rate yield should go down.
That didn't happen on Friday when the Federal Reserve began executing its second round of "money from nothing" quantitative easing. Even though the Fed increased demand, bond prices went down and yields went up.
Why? If you read a late Friday afternoon report by the Associated Press's Matthew Craft you essentially get a bunch of blubbering "I don't know" statements (bolds after headline are mine):
Thursday evening, NB's Ken Shepherd accurately pointed out how little establishment press interest there has been in prominently carrying an Associated Press report about how the Obama administration has been, in the words of the wire service's Dina Cappiello, "downplaying scientific findings, misrepresenting data and most recently misconstruing the opinions of experts it solicited."
This is not to excuse those who have given her report short shrift, but the AP and Cappiello herself did their level best to try to minimize the significance of what was to come in their headline and first paragraph, respectively:
During the Bush administration, the media made much of political appointees supposedly editing and otherwise interfering with the integrity of the work of career federal government scientists, particularly on studies pertaining to global warming/climate change.
Well now the Associated Press is reporting that an inspector general's report from the Interior Department released yesterday found that the Obama White House "edited a drilling safety report in a way that made it falsely appear that scientists and experts backed the administration's six-month moratorium on new deep-water drilling." (emphasis mine)
Additionally, "Obama's energy adviser, Carol Browner, mischaracterized on national TV a government analysis about where the oil went, saying it showed most of the oil was 'gone.'"
In fact, "[t]he report said it could still be there," AP's Dina Cappiello noted.
Cappiello's story was buried on page A27 of today's Washington Post, but at least the paper covered the story. A Nexis search for "BP" mentions in the November 11 paper turned two hits from the New York Times, but neither story was about the inspector general's report.
Leftist community organizing group ACORN "should pay back $3.2 million in federal funding, mostly because it hasn't shown that its lead-removal work was performed at a reasonable cost," the Associated Press's Kevin Freking reported today. "The auditors also said that some of the grant money was spent inappropriately."
"Congress has cut off ACORN's federal funding after allegations of voter registration fraud and embezzlement. The group began closing its operations in March," Freking noted.
They're back, they have their media water-carriers in place, and the Obama administration is smack dab in the middle of it.
The United Nations is pushing for countries in the developed world to keep their "promise" to, in the worlds of Charles J. Hanley at the Associated Press, "raise up to $100 billion a year in new money for poorer countries to cope with climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions."
It's as if ClimateGate never happened (link is to NB's 120-plus posts on the topic). It's as if the IPCC and others associated with the scandal and the evidence-impaired claims of global warming -- er, climate change -- uh, make that climate disruption -- still have their reputations totally intact.
Apparently that's what the Associated Press's Liz Sidoti (pictured at the top right at this post's home page tease) wants us to believe, as she ended her borderline bitter take on the origins of Congressional Republicans' successful electoral comeback and takeover of the House of Representatives four days ago with this sentence:
Ten months later (after Scott Brown's U.S. Senate race victory in Massachusetts -- Ed.), victorious Republicans met to plan their transition to power in the House - just as it was announced that the economy created 151,000 jobs.
As if one good jobs-added number -- even with the unemployment rate stuck at 9.6% -- proves that the economic recovery is finally in high gear. Zheesh.
It seems that the Associated Press is selective in correcting errors it occasionally makes in calling election results.
In the case of the GA-02 Congressional race between incumbent Democrat Sanford Bishop and Republican challenger Mike Keown, the wire service declared Keown the winner at 10:55 p.m. on Election Night, only to reverse its call and declare Bishop the victor three hours later after results from three key counties in the district came in.
In NY-01, the AP, according to multiple source, including this one, has declared incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop the winner over Republican Randy Altschuler. But despite developments since then which have cast doubt on who the winner is, with the evidence now seemingly pointing towards an Altschuler squeaker, AP has not pulled its call. In its compilation of 11 undecided races last night, including nine Congressional contests, NY-01 is not among them.
It's strange how this "mandate" thing works, at least at the Associated Press.
In Ohio, Republican John Kasich defeated incumbent Democratic Governor Ted Strickland on Tuesday with a victory margin of about 2.5%, or almost 100,000 votes. Strickland is the first incumbent Buckeye State governor to lose a reelection bid since Democrat John Gilligan lost to Republican Jim Rhodes in 1974. In that race, everyone went to bed on Election Night believing that Gilligan had held on -- including Rhodes himself, who conceded the race -- only to wake up the next morning learning that late ballots had pushed Rhodes over the top by a razor-thin margin.
In Illinois, incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn defeated Republican challenger Bill Brady by about 20,000 votes, a margin of about 0.5%.
Below the jump, you'll see who has permission to claim a "mandate," at least according to the Associated Press's headline writers:
One of the more egregious results of the Democrat-controlled Congress skipping town without passing a budget, thus failing to address the issue of whether scheduled income tax increases will really go into effect for everyone, the highest income-earners, or no one at all, is that the Internal Revenue Service and employers have been left in the lurch with no idea of how to prepare for next year. As I understand it, at a minimum this is the first time in a very long time that something like this has occurred, and it may be unprecedented.
The issue is getting a half-decent amount of play in the business press, but as a general news item, it's going almost nowhere, even though some employers are already telling employees they will have to withhold more starting on January 1, 2011 if no action is taken in Washington.
At the Associated Press's main web site, the one story about the withholding issue written by Andrew Taylor that went up early this morning plays a shady game of "Y'know, it really won't be all that bad if the increases are only in effect during the early part of next year." See if you can detect what I'm referring to in the following excerpt:
In early September, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) was raked over the coals by her Democratic opponent Terry Goddard and by the mainstream media for a statement she had made about decapitated bodies found in the Arizona desert due to illegal immigration.
"It's a good bill. We cannot afford all this illegal immigration and everything that comes with it, and the kidnappings and the extortion and the beheadings," Brewer said in a debate. "Which beheadings in Arizona were you referring to?" a reporter asked. "Oh, our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert, either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," Brewer replied.
While there had been numerous gruesome discoveries of decapitated bodies in Mexico related to Mexican drug trade, at that point there had been evidence of such gang-related beheadings on Arizonan soil. The media made it up to be a mini-scandal at the time.
Fast forward a littler over a month to October 10, and the discovery of the decapitated body of one Martin Alejandro Cota-Monroy in his suburban Phoenix apartment.
The Associated Press's Calvin Woodward has had a few shining analytical moments during the first two years of the Obama administration (examples here and here).
The AP reporter's dispatch on "gaffes and gotchas" Friday morning, which attempted to communicate a sense of bemusement tinged with condescension, both aimed mostly at first-time candidates, is not one of them, and contained its own gaffes:
"Follow the money," the left insisted when News Corporation donated $1 million to the Republican Governor's Association. The implication was that since News Corp. gave lots of money to Republicans (nearly 10 times as much as it did to Democrats), Fox News coverage that casted the GOP in a positive light could fairly be seen as a direct result of that contribution.
By the standard much of the left advanced, National Public Radio's firing of Juan Williams can fairly be presented as a direct result of liberal billionaire George Soros's $1.8 million contribution to NPR two days before Williams's firing.
Clearly, Becky Bohrer at the Associated Press is very picky about what she'll report.
In her story datelined early this morning ("Senate race in Alaska is bitter and unpredictable"), she played the "any Tea Partier whose family or extended family has ever taken a government benefit is automatically a hypocrite" card. She made sure readers knew about Republican candidate Joe Miller's incredibly awful (that's sarcasm, in case anyone doesn't get it) violation of a government entity's office policy, wherein he was "disciplined for participating in a private poll during his lunch hour" (oh, the humanity!), and how Miller's presence in the campaign has "frightened" many Democrats into seriously considering their candidate, Scott McAdams.
In a Monday article, Rachel Zoll of the Associated Press played up the efforts of Catholic "theological conservatives" online who "say the church isn't Catholic enough" and are "unsettling the church." Zoll even quoted from a Vatican analyst for a heterodox Catholic publication who dubbed the phenomenon "Taliban Catholicism," with the slight caveat that "liberals can fit the mindset too." The writer, however, focused most of her attention on the conservatives.
Zoll, who berated conservative Southern Baptists as "vicious" zealots embarked on trying to "wipe out" every last liberal or moderate from their church in a January 29, 2008 article, wasted little time in her latest article, "Catholic bloggers aim to purge dissenters," in zeroing-in on her conservative targets: "Pressure is on to change the Roman Catholic Church in America, but it's not coming from the usual liberal suspects. A new breed of theological conservatives has taken to blogs and YouTube to say the church isn't Catholic enough. Enraged by dissent that they believe has gone unchecked for decades, and unafraid to say so in the starkest language, these activists are naming names and unsettling the church."
Just for the heck of it, AP also threw in Reid's reference to Angle as being "too extreme," and his parroting of that biennial Democratic falsehood that a GOP candidate is for "privatizing programs for the elderly and veterans."
Meanwhile, the wire service did not tag Reid as an "ultraliberal," or even as a "liberal," even though his 2009 rating with the obviously ultraliberal group Americans for Democratic Action was 95% (large PDF here), one vote short of that organization's definition of "perfection."
When a Democrat or leftist makes an ill-advised remark, it seems that there's a three-stage process at the Associated Press, and perhaps in most other establishment press outlets, for handling it. It goes roughly like this:
Stage 1 - Ignore it as long as you can. If there isn't much outcry, keep ignoring it.
Stage 2 - If there ends up being enough of an outcry from conservatives or Republicans to warrant coverage, make sure that the story is about the criticism at least as much as the remark.
Stage 3 - In the ensuing coverage, leave out what was originally said.
The Associated Press is currently and grudgingly at Stage 2 with Harry Reid's remark that "but for me, we'd be in a worldwide depression," as seen below (reproduced in full for fair use and discussion purposes):
In a report so riddled with errors, inconsistencies, incompleteness and sloppiness that it's really hard to know where to begin, Associated Press real estate writer Alan Zibel couldn't even keep his housing recovery benchmark remotely consistent with what it was only a month ago.
The Census Bureau's September release of information about August housing starts and building permits informed the country that those items came in at seasonally adjusted annual rates of 598,000 and 569,000, respectively (they were revised slightly upward in yesterday's reports covering September).
On September 21, after disclosing the housing starts number, but not the one for permits, Zibel quoted Paul Dales, U.S. economist with Capital Economics, who said:
"Homebuilding activity remains at an astoundingly weak level," Dales said, adding that construction has to be more than double current levels for the market to be considered healthy.
My math says that means that annualized starts have to reach more than 1.2 million before health returns.
Here's the headline at the Associated Press's 12:49 p.m. report today on Steven Slater's plea bargain: "Attendant who slid on chute to fame pleads guilty." Earlier headlines had used the word "famous" (example here: "JetBlue attendant in famous meltdown pleads guilty").
For those who still care about what words mean, the primary meaning of "famous" is "having a widespread reputation, usually of a favorable nature; renowned; celebrated." Steven Slater is not "famous"; he is, or at least should be, "infamous" ("having an extremely bad reputation").
So continues "The Essential Global News Network's" strange fascination bordering on approbation of the flight attendant who, back in August, "went on the public-address system, swore at a passenger who he claimed treated him rudely, grabbed a beer and slid onto the tarmac" using an emergency slide.
Most readers are probably unaware that the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School who was also the first female surgical intern at Boston City Hospital passed away this weekend.
I would suggest that the coverage is so quiet because Mildred Jefferson was also an important pro-life pioneer.
Though marred by the fact that she consistently characterized Ms. Jefferson as "antiabortion" instead of as "prolife," the obituary by Kathleen Burge at the Boston Globe captured much of the essence of this marvelous woman (bolds are mine):