When I was a kid there was a song we sang in Sunday School called, "Everybody Ought to Go to Sunday School." If I could find something to rhyme with "Associated Press reporters," I could probably write a new verse.
Reporting yet another story involving Gov. Sarah Palin's former church, the AP continued its attempts to paint Palin as a closet Pentecostal, as well as to hint that Pentecostals are wacky, far afield from the mainstream of Christian theology.
Anchorage-based AP reporter Garance Burke devoted a September 25 article to a newly surfaced YouTube video purportedly showing Palin being prayed over by a Kenyan preacher who asked God to protect Palin from all manner of evil, including witchcraft.
Burke went on to characterize the Pentecostal church Palin used to attend as simultaneously "conservative" in biblical teaching and yet outside orthodox Christian belief:
In the Words-Mean-Things category, yesterday we got both the Associated Press and CNN distorting the words Laura Bush used to describe Sarah Palin on foreign policy. Worse, the video interview of the First Lady was right on CNN yet on its own Political Ticker blog, CNN still distorted what Laura Bush said about Palin. It makes you wonder if the folks at CNN even watch CNN?
Virginia State Police chaplains can't invoke the name of Jesus Christ during department-sanctioned events.
But to the Associated Press and its reporter Bob Lewis, that's not the story. In all too typical traditional media fashion, and in what I believe is the wire service's first report on the controversy, Lewis decided that the real story is that Republican lawmakers are objecting to the ruling by the state's police superintendent, and to Governor Tim Kaine's agreement with it.
Before getting to what Lewis wrote, here is a local report on what has transpired, from Roanoke TV station WDBJ:
Six of 17 Virginia State Police Chaplains have resigned over a request they not reference Jesus Christ at public events.
Instead, they've been instructed by the Superintendent to offer non-denominational prayers, a decision made following a recent ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
On September 20, Noel Sheppard of NewsBusters posted on a misleading Associated Press/Yahoo poll on racism. The poll asserted that if Barack Obama loses, it will be because of "[d]eep-seated racial misgivings" held by "one-third of white Democrats."
Later that day, NB's Michael Bates criticized the AP's report on the poll for its historically inaccurate claim that the US "enshrined slavery into its constitution."
NB's Lyndsi Thomas got into the neighborhood of the concern I'm about to note on Sunday, when she noted that the pollsters tried to ferret out racism by asking questions that could be seen as purely political and having nothing to do with race.
But it seems to me that the pollsters engaged in a bit of hocus pocus. These three paragraphs from a story explaining AP's methodology carried at the Minneapolis Star Tribune gave me that impression:
Doubtless still seething over not being privy to Gov. Sarah Palin's private chats with world leaders, AP's Sara Kugler described the Republican vice presidential nominee as being wrapped "in a bubble" by the campaign, even though it's fairly common practice for politicians to chat with foreign dignitaries behind closed doors.
Earlier today I noted how AP reporter Sara Kugler painted the McCain/Palin campaign as having "banned" print reporters from asking the Republican vice presidential candidate questions as she met with foreign leaders. This despite no concern by the AP or other print outlets back in July when Barack Obama conducted closed-door meetings with European heads of state.
Now a NewsBusters tipster has brought to my attention that Kugler shelled out a few benjamins to a liberal 527 during the 2004 campaign.
Associated Press reporter Sara Kugler pounded out a 7-paragraph article today on how McCain running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), has "[Banned] reporters from meetings with leaders" from around the world. Palin is in New York City for the open of the United Nations General Assembly. A review of media coverage from Obama's behind-closed-doors chats with European heads of state, however, shows no such complaint by the media about a lack of access.
Kugler complained that Palin "has not held a press conference in nearly four weeks of campaigning, on Tuesday banned reporters from her first meetings with world leaders, allowing access only to photographers and a television crew." The reporter noted that her news agency objected to the terms of media coverage the McCain campaign set for Palin's meetings with Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai and Colombia's Alvaro Uribe (emphases mine):
Those sessions and meetings scheduled for Wednesday are part of the Republican campaign's effort to give Palin experience in foreign affairs. She has never met a foreign head of state and first traveled outside North America just last year.
The campaign told the TV producer, print and wire reporters in the press pool that follows the Alaska governor that they would not be admitted with the photographers and camera crew taken in to photograph the meetings. At least two news organizations, including The Associated Press, objected and were told that the decision was not subject to discussion.
Late this afternoon, AP Special Correspondent David Espo cobbled together one of the most incoherent "comparisons" of two totally unrelated events I have ever seen.
In a piece that should be called "AP Writer's Bush Derangement Syndrome Meets Up with His Palin Derangment Syndrome; Hilarity Ensues," Espo attempts to paint current GOP tactics being employed to defend Sarah Palin in the Walt Monegan firing case with those Bush-Cheney used to ensure that the Florida results in the 2000 presidential election didn't get hijacked by Democratic Party efforts to selectively recount only certain counties and to exclude legitimate overseas military ballots.
A Federal judge from Louisiana is under a cloud of impeachment and if he's convicted it'll be the first federal judge impeached in almost 20 years. The story was covered by the new wire service named ProPublica, a service that claims to be non-partisan. Yet in two stories on this judge there is not one mention of the fact that he was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton, nor that his corruption was known by the Department of Justice when Clinton made the appointment. I wonder why ProPublica didn't find that relevant, don't you?
A while back, I wrote of a new wire service that was starting up to be called ProPublica. This new service claimed that it was going to be a non-partisan service but the fact that it was being funded by left-wing billionaires made me wonder about the veracity of that claim. I have to admit that I haven't paid much attention to ProPublica since my first look into it, but this judge story piqued my interest. So, I gave ProPublica a look see.
On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?
TRUMP: I really don't know Senator Biden but I know one thing. He's run a number of times for president. He's gotten less than 1 percent of the vote each time. And that's a pretty tough thing. You know, he's also been involved in pretty big controversy like plagiarism in college and various other things. That's a pretty big statement. So perhaps you change over a period of time. But when you plagiarize, that's a very bad statement. That hasn't been brought up yet, but I'm sure at some point it will. I'm sure that Sarah Palin will bring it up in a debate or somebody's going to bring it up.
BLITZER: Are you talking about plagiarism when he was running for president?
TRUMP: No, I'm talking about when he was a college student as I understand it, and this was a big issue originally but he supposedly plagiarized as a college student. That's a pretty serious charge.
BLITZER: I don't remember that. We'll check it out. But maybe you obviously have a better memory about that.
Writing Sen. Joe Biden's (D-Del.) recent suggestion that it's "patriotic" to pay higher taxes, Associated Press reporter Douglass K. Daniel provided a bit of cover for the Obama running mate by citing a left-leaning tax group and ignoring Obama's plans to hike capital gains taxes.:
Although Republican John McCain claims that Obama would raise taxes, the independent Tax Policy Center and other groups conclude that four out of five U.S. households would receive tax cuts under Obama's proposals.
"We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people," Biden said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."
The Tax Policy Center may be independent of a political party apparatus, but it is decidedly liberal in orientation, a joint venture of two liberal think tanks, the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air noted a revision to an existing Associated Press report carried in the Miami Herald yesterday. It concerned Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius's accusations that Republicans are engaging in racial "code word" campaigning.
Among other adds, changes, and deletes, the revision deleted a racial reference in the original headline. It also removed a direct quote from Sebelius that "(Republicans) are not going to go lightly into the darkness."
Morrissey wasn't sure at the time he noted the revision whether the Herald or AP and writer Nigel Duara (with editorial help?) instigated the changes.
I can tell you that, as expected, it was AP, as the two Google News search pics taken during the noon hour Eastern Time show:
By now you may have read how former Democratic presidential contender Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) has canceled her planned appearance at an anti-Ahmadinejad protest in New York City due to the fact that John McCain's running mate would also be in attendance. In reporting her decision to back out of attending, the AP's Devlin Barrett dutifully pushed the Clinton line that she was "blindsided" by the Gov. Sarah Palin invite:
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has canceled an appearance at a New York rally next week after organizers blindsided her by inviting Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, aides to the senator said Tuesday.
Several American Jewish groups plan a major rally outside the United Nations on Monday to protest against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Chicago Sun-Times picked up on the "blindsided" language in Barrett's lede and used it in the headline for the article on the paper's Web site: "Hillary blindsided: Palin also got rally invite."
You... yes, you reading this right now. McClatchy wants you to know you are mean to them, your mistrust of them is merely egged on by a sly political tactic, and you fall for it because you only get your news from an "ideologically tailored" source. In other words, they are telling you that you are misinformed, mean-spirited, easily led... well, they are telling you that you are stupid. And then they wonder why people don't trust them!
In "McCain campaign systematically targets the news media," McClatchy writers Steven Thomma and Margaret Talev decided to try and explain why the Republicans are attacking the media with their basic conclusion being that it is an unfair convention that the GOP has employed at least since Spiro T. Agnew (of "Nattering nabobs of negativity" fame) was VP. But, despite the truth staring them in the face, they explain away the ire Americans have with the Old Media.
Dontcha ya hate it when Old Media outlets beat up on other Old Media outlets? (Well, maybe you don't hate it, exactly) It's like Old Media on Old Media violence. In this case we have the United Press International (UPI), struggling lesser known news wire service, giving the big smack-a-roo to ABC. UPI is warning that Charlie Gibson's gruff handling of Governor Sarah Palin may "backfire," and that the interview revealed a "double standard" of harsh treatment for Republicans compared to the softballs they've thrown to Democrats in past interviews.
Who can disagree with that assessment?
UPI's Martin Sieff's one sentence assessment of the interview seems to be the general consensus of all dispassionate observers. "There were no surprises, no knockout zingers," Sieff says, "but also no bloopers Thursday night in Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's first TV interview since becoming the Republican vice presidential nominee."
"Former GOP senator calls Palin a 'cocky wacko'" teased the Chicago Tribune on its online front page. Curious as to who that might be, I clicked the link to find out who.
Let's just say I didn't exactly spit out my coffee when I read the Associated Press story only to find out the culprit is none other than former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (RINO-R.I.).
Of course, for those like NewsBusters readers who are well-informed and politically engaged, the only thing Republican about Linc's name is, well, his first name. But your average newspaper reader is likely unfamiliar with Chafee, particularly in a story carried over a national news wire.
Yet the reader doesn't get any hint of his leftist voting record in today's five-paragraph Associated Press article:
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
Barack Obama's running mate could use a bit of remedial education on both biology and Catholic teaching. Biden joins House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in being publicly corrected by Catholic clergy for misrepresenting the teachings of the Catholic Church on human life before the media.
The Associated Press has the story (excerpted below via FoxNews.com). The AP also covered the Pelosi row as well as Fox News, the Washington Post, and Reuters. Some outlets, such as CNN, presented a virtual blackout on the Pelosi story, as my colleague Matthew Balan noted on August 27.
In its September 10 story, the AP news wire noted that Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop William Lori corrected Biden's September 7 statement on "Meet the Press" that he could not impose his personal conviction that life begins at conception upon others via his role as a legislator (emphasis mine):
Asked on the program about when life begins, Biden said: "Look, I know when it begins for me. It's a personal and private issue. For me, as a Roman Catholic, I am prepared to accept the teachings in my church."
"Palin's Church Promotes Conversion of Gays," blares the headline for a September 7 Associated Press article noting that the Alaska governor's home church is supporting Focus on the Family's "Love Won Out" conference.
Of course as with much of the media's reporting on religion, AP's article is weighed in the balance and found lacking. It's downright misleading and factually inaccurate, betraying a complete ignorance of evangelical Christian theology (emphasis mine):
Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer.
"You'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality," according to the insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed for about six years.
Let's back up a minute. That quote in the Wasilla Bible Church bulletin is taken from the Web site for Focus on the Family's Love Won Out conferences. But does the conference really "[promise] to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer"? Far from it.
That will be followed by observations of commenter "Tom W" (not yours truly) at Pajamas Media.
If they indeed reflect what is happening on the ground, you won't hear about it from the Associated Press, or read it in the New York Times, or see it on the Big Three Networks news or cable shows -- which is why it's so necessary to post items like this here. In fact, it's fair to say that if you were going to see commentary and commenting such as that which follows, it would have occurred already.
Apparently Ted Anthony of the Associated Press thinks it is somehow "contradictory" of the GOP to show VP candidate Governor Sarah Palin's kids at the GOP convention on TV. He seems to imagine that, since the GOP objected to the media attempting to use the kids against Governor Palin, that the GOP shouldn't be allowed to have the kids attend the convention to see their Mother accept her nomination.
Anthony's "analysis" hit the nets on September 3, the day after Palin's wonderful acceptance speech on night 3 of the proceedings. Naturally, the AP trolls our left leaning universities to find some "expert" to back up its claim that it is all wrong to show the proud faces of Palin's children looking up at their Mother as she speaks to the convention.
The Associated Press takes the attacks against Sarah Palin to the next level by saying that in her released bio Palin's religion was "obscured." The AP is suggesting that Palin's ostensibly secret religion is really Pentecostalism which, they note, is a sect that is "derided by outsiders and Bible-believers alike." So, the AP is saying here that the McCain campaign is trying to cover up Palin's past because they must somehow know that her real religion is a cult or some wacko, fringe sect.
Sarah Palin often identifies herself simply as Christian... Yet John McCain's running mate has deep roots in Pentecostalism, a spirit-filled Christian tradition that is one of the fastest growing in the world. It's often derided by outsiders and Bible-believers alike.
But for all of the AP's grave warnings about what it obviously considers wacky Pentecostalism, Palin and her hard working, middle class family have for the last 6 years belonged to the Wasilla Bible Church which is not a Pentecostal Church but describes itself as an independent evangelical church. So, even if she were raised in the Pentecostal Church -- and even if we were to be alarmed at this -- she left it behind 6 years ago. So, where is the "obscuring," where is the secretive past?
For those who say that the Maverick can't learn a new lesson, Bloomberg has a story that proves John McCain has at least learned this lesson; the media is not his friend. Pronouncing that McCain's "longtime love affair" between himself and the media is "on the rocks," Bloomberg reports on how McCain has been distancing himself from the media of late. Naturally, Bloomberg takes a few shots along the way, too.
It seems that, instead of placing the blame on the media where it belongs for its mistreatment of McCain and its sycophancy for Obama, Bloomberg seems to suggest that it is the fault of McCain's new campaign manager who, Bloomberg gravely tells us, was "close to Karl Rove."
Palin, 44, who wasn't high on conventional-wisdom rankings of potential vice presidential candidates, may soothe social conservatives in her own party and may appeal to some disappointed Hillary Clinton backers. She's younger than Obama, who is 47, and has served less than half of her first term as governor.
``It's either a grand-slam home run or it'll turn out to be a bust,'' said Stu Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report in Washington. The answer will be clear over the next few days, he said.
OK, folks (as Joe Biden of Scranton would say). Sensitivity training for everyone.
Reuters gets the award for the most misleading headline of the day with its Aug 28 story making it seem as if unemployment has wildly increased in New York State -- even calling it a "crisis" -- when there was really only a small increase. The headline would cause the casual reader to assume that the world is falling apart concerning employment rates and on top of that the badly worded headline also feeds into the Bush-ruined-the-economy meme. And we know how Reuters is always looking to smear President Bush whenever it can. Further, Reuters cites the work of the Fiscal Policy Institute without identifying it as a left leaning think tank.
Reuters headlines its New York employment piece Unemployment leaps over 20 percent in 25 New York counties. It is a shocking headline, to be sure, screaming that unemployment "leaps 20 percent." Such a wild headline would certainly cause a casual reader to assume that overall unemployment has risen by 20 to 25 percent. Contrary to the scaremongering of the headline, New York's unemployment did not "leap 20 percent" in over all numbers at all. In fact, the over all unemployment of the state has only gone up by .2 percent, from 5.2 in June to 5.4 in July. That is hardly a number to spark a "Crisis."
The Obama-infatuated media knows a quote to ignore when it hears one.
That Barack Obama and the Democratic Party is in trouble on abortion is inarguable. Obama has been caught red-handed lying about his past positions and votes on Illinois' Born Alive Infant Protection Act laws, appearing indifferent as to when anyone wishing to eliminate their baby completes the task. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has generated outrage from Catholic bishops and practitioners with her ignorant comments about the history of the Church's opposition to abortion. John McCain's nomination of prolife walk-the-walker Sarah Palin has made the contrast between the two parties' positions as obvious as I've ever seen it.
Fanning the flames by reporting yet another controversial comment from Michelle Obama would add dangerous fuel to an already-burning fire.
That likely explains why you're not hearing about this comment Ms. Obama made at the Women’s Caucus of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday about her husband (bold is mine):
That “Made in America” sticker is looking more attractive.
Second-quarter (2Q) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was revised up from 1.9 percent growth to a higher than anticipated 3.3 percent, according to reports on August 28.
Rising exports played a significant role in the expansion. According to the Commerce Department, real exports increased 13.2 percent in the 2Q of 2008, compared with an increase of 5.1 percent in the first. Real imports of goods and services decreased 0.8 percent in the first quarter and 7.6 percent in the second.
More bad news for the newspaper industry. Anyone paying attention to the current state of financial distress in the print news industry will realize that saving money is the order of the day industry wide. Yet, not long ago the Associated Press announced that it was to raise its prices to the print news industry causing consternation everywhere. This new rate structure has caused quite a few newspapers to begin the process of dropping AP content giving pause to consider what the future of the AP might become?
Several papers have already announced that they are preparing to drop the AP, the latest of which appears to be the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Minnesota paper has announced it will cease using AP content by 2010. The Star-Trib joins The Bakersfield Californian, and two papers from Washington State, The Yakima Herald-Republic and Wenatchee World. Also The Post Register of Idaho Falls informed the AP that they were going to drop their service in early August.