Ya gotta hand it to them. The Associated Press knows how to cut out all the extraneous background noise and get right to the important issues of the day. Barack Obama will surely be in the center of the vortex of some of the most important decisions in the world during the next four years and even his preparations for taking office are vitally important as a marker to what he might do in office. There are wars and rumors of wars, disasters and relief efforts and historic decisions will soon be made. But no decision is so important, as the AP dutifully tells us, than the one of what the president elect had for lunch. The shocking, heartwarming and resolute decision the leader of the free world... no the leader of all mankind... made for his lunch was apparently a corned beef sandwich.
Darfur still swirls with genocide, Iran is still making plans to destroy Israel, China is on pace to build the largest most dangerous army on Earth, the European Union still angles to lay America low, but all that pales in comparison to the important report the AP could muster (no, not mustard). Yes, the AP brings us the most salient story of our day: "Obama grabs lunch at local deli, greets patrons."
Yahoo News featured an interesting short report issued by Agence France-Presse on November 20. In it we discover that a consortium of French, German and Hungarian mathematicians are claiming to have proven that Einstein's famous equation, e=mc2, is correct. The report is all good except for one very small aspect. They call the effort of these mathematicians "heroic" in contradiction to the root meaning of the word. Mathematics isn't "heroic" and it is a degradation of true heroics to say it is.
Unfortunately, while a small thing too casually used in the AFP report, it proves a sort of degradation of our language. Not only that, but it further devalues real heroism, making the word mean less with each garbled usage.
Now that Eric Holder is in the process of trying to graduate from Barack Obama's vice-presidential search committee to President-elect Obama's apparent nominee for Attorney General, it's a good idea to remind people of Holder's role in the Elian Gonzalez case in 2000. This post largely reprises one I put up in June.
In between hosannas, someone should consider Barack Obama's "Judgment to Lead" in light of his selection of Eric Holder as his nominee for Attorney General.
Besides his already-known role as former Clinton Administration Deputy Attorney General in facilitating the Clinton pardons, including that of fugitive billionaire financier Marc Rich, there's the matter of Holder's involvement in the Elian Gonzalez case in 2000.
As the April 23, 2000 edition of the Media Research Center's CyberAlert noted at the time, Andrew Napolitano of Fox News charged that the early-Saturday seizure of the then 6 year-old Gonzalez from those who were taking care of him flagrantly disobeyed a ruling of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In response to a question from Fox News anchor Jeff Asman, Napolitano said the following (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The plot surrounding Father Jay Scott Newman's admonishment to Barack Obama-supporting parishoners has thickened.
On Friday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted news that Fr. Newman, a Catholic priest and pastor at St. Mary's Church in Greenville, South Carolina, had informed parishoners who voted for Barack Obama in full knowledge of the Illinois Senator's aggressively proabortion positions that they "should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance."
This is not a controversial position, but rather, as shown at BizzyBlog earlier today, bedrock Catholic teaching, to the point where if you vote for a known proabortion presidential candidate or any other candidate in a position to meaningfully influence the law and do not repent, you're not a legitimate practicing Catholic. Period.
Well, it turns out that Father Newman originally had the full support of Monsignor Martin T. Laughlin, the acting administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, which currently does not have a bishop. But two days later, Msgr. Laughlin reprimanded Fr. Newman in what appeared to be fairly harsh terms (they really weren't; I'll get to that).
We've seen some major cases of left leaning bias in the media, especially during the late presidential campaign. Many of these cases have been blatant and over-the-top in style but, while covering the brazen cases of such bias, it is easy to forget that there are every day cases of the more subtle bias to the left in the media. Today, we have a perfect example of a more subtle left leaning bias in the media with a Reuters story headlined "Obama likely to push courts away from right." In it there are lies, distortions and tricky wording all used to pat Barack Obama on the back for his assumed sharp turn to the left he'll take as he appoints judges during his forthcoming presidency. The same tricks of the trade are used to attack George Bush and conservatives for their judicial turn to the right these last eight years.
The headline, of course, is a classic example of leftist bias. Just take a look at the language: "Obama likely to push courts away from right." More properly this headline should read: "Obama likely to push courts to the left." But, notice that instead of saying "push to the left," they say "push away from the right." This gives Obama cover for what he's really doing and takes the emotional impact away from the fact that Obama is, indeed, going to veer to the left by placing the negative connotation on the right. Reuters is assuring people that Obama ISN'T going left, no, no, no, he's only going "away" from the right!
Earlier today, in a story on falling oil prices, Mark Williams of the Associated Press bemoaned "evaporating" consumption, warned that the abrupt prices drop would cause a decline in exploration, and cited the need for trillions of dollars of investment to find more fossil fuels.
Contrary to or not in what Williams wrote:
Consumption has barely fallen.
The American electorate has chosen a new president who thinks exploring for new oil is a bad thing, and the need for that oil can be eliminated through proper tire inflation.
The new president and the Congressional majority want investments in alternative energy, and to tax the alleged "windfall" profits of oil companies, which would of course take money away from exploration.
Here are the key paragraphs from Williams's report:
Wednesday evening's dour Associated Press report by Tom Krisher and Ken Thomas on the proposed bailouts of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler acted as if their fates will determine the viability of the entire US auto industry, and waited until the 15th paragraph to name the primary reason why the companies are where they are financially. Beyond that, the AP report did not mention that United Auto Workers has flatly ruled out union contract concessions.
Here is how the AP's report began, followed by selected other paragraphs, including the one (of over 30) that mentioned labor costs (bolds after headline are mine):
A 44-year old New Jersey man has been arrested in Washington, D.C., for allegedly urinating on people while intoxicated at a Grateful Dead tribute band concert. Talk about embarassment, a Grateful Dead tribute band?! Oh, did I mention the man is a Jersey City Democratic councilman?
The AP ignored Steve Lipski's Democratic party affiliation in a November 9 story about the Friday incident, even though it was bylined from Jersey City and presumably a reporter filing from there could readily discover Lipski's Democratic Party affiliation. After all, the Democratic pol once ran unsuccessfully for Atlantic City mayor.
A November 9 UPI story on Lipski's arrest noted an unidentified source at D.C.'s popular 9:30 Club that Lipski has a rap for drunken, um, revelry:
To show how foolishly hyperbolic the Old Media and the ignorati in our universities are, the Associated Press issued a dire report that breathlessly informed us all that Barack Obama is facing a "nation in crisis" and it's all "just like Lincoln and FDR." The AP even gets an historically illiterate university professor to sonorously declare how Obama is "one step away" from Lincoln and FDR. But a review of our nation's real history shows that the America Obama will inherit is in nowhere near the state of crisis that Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to deal with. But, in the end, this isn't about real reporting or true historiography but about pumping Obama up and trying to shoehorn him in among what are considered by many our greatest presidents before he's even taken office.
The absurd hyperbole and wild stretching of the historical record to give gravity to Obama's reign is transparent for its effort to force readers into imagining that Obama should be given a mandate to do anything he wants. I'd suggest that the reason this foolish overestimate of our state of national "crisis" is being ladled out to an unsuspecting public is because the AP realizes that Obama did not get a mandate vote and the AP fears that Obama might face more resistance than it would like to his starkly socialist policy proscriptions. So, the AP is trying its best to break down those barriers beforehand.
Appearing on MSNBC shortly after 1 p.m. EST with anchor Andrea Mitchell, The Atlantic's Ron Brownstein rebuked House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) for drawing a legitimate criticism of President-elect Obama's choice of what he described as the "sharp-elbowed" Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) as his White House chief-of-staff (see video embedded at right, transcript is below page break).
Mitchell dismissed as "warfare" and Brownstein hit as "reflexive partisanship" Boehner's rather mild statement:
This is an ironic choice for a President-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center.
Taking a dig at outgoing President George W. Bush while lauding President-elect Obama as a man of letters, Associated Press writer Hillel Italie suggested that well-respected writers are welcoming the arrival of a "literary president-elect." Italie suggested that it was admiration of Obama's writing style and intelligence, not his liberal ideology, that pushed authors Toni Morrison, Ayelet Waldman, and novelist Michael Chabon into the Illinois Democrat's cheering section.
Yet Italie left out of his November 6 story how Morrison, Waldman and Chabon are reliable donors to the Democratic Party and left-wing groups and candidates like MoveOn.org and former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.):
If Michelle Obama gets tired of merely entertaining dignitaries as first lady, she might try her hand at editing for the Associated Press. After all, according to the AP, her husband has made it "cool" to be an American again. Yahoo.com is giving play to the story by featuring it as a top headline in the "World" section of its news page (see image at right).
From AP writer William J. Kole:
VIENNA, Austria – She was a stranger, and she kissed me. Just for being an American.
It happened on the bus on my way to work Wednesday morning, a few hours after compatriots clamoring for change swept Barack Obama to his historic victory. I was on the phone, and the 20-something Austrian woman seated in front of me overheard me speaking English.
Without a word, she turned, pecked me on the cheek and stepped off at the next stop.
Nothing was said, but the message was clear: Today, we are all Americans.
It’s always nice to see someone thank another for their hard work, isn’t it? Well, here at the end of this long, long presidential campaign (it’s been going on since 2004 for Barack and the Old Media, after all), Barack Obama has thanked his fellow campaign members in the Old Media for their hard work as they’ve fronted for him, pushed for him, and willingly dived straight in the tank for him.
AFP has the story of The One allowing the press to kiss his ring one more time. Barack even deigned to make a rare appearance in the back of the campaign plane among his “gracious” sycophants in the press.
Who would you think is more concerned with the best interest of the United States? Americans? Or those in other countries?
If you chose the latter, then you are likely a liberal. You are also, apparently, like many other countries in the world. Countries that will go from respecting the authority of this nation, to snickering behind our backs at the possibility of electing a President who thinks the world is his constituency, and not his native country.
The media is unconsciously making this obvious, by revealing what may be a major reason we should be concerned about the possibility of the phrase ‘President Barack Obama.’
The world is salivating at the prospect of appeasement, and that will be Obama’s number one foreign policy platform.
Studs Terkel, author and broadcaster, died on Halloween. Barack Obama observed: "Studs was not just a Chicago institution, he was a national treasure. His writings, broadcasts, and interviews shed light on what it meant to be an American in the 20th century." Obama highly praised Terkel when he was alive, declaring him " not just a national treasure - he's one of Chicago's treasures."
Terkel's politics were liberal, vintage FDR. He would never forget the many New Deal programs from the Great Depression and worried that the country suffered from "a national Alzheimer's disease" that made government the perceived enemy.
In a damage control piece Thursday, Associated Press writer Kimberly Helfing attempted to portray Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha's last-minute use of high-profile advisor Tony Podesta as "shoring up" his support, characterized accusations directed at residents of his district as only targeting "some" of them, and failed to mention Murtha's opponent until the fifth paragraph.
The facts are that Murtha is not clearly ahead in the polls (ahead by not much here, behind by more here), that he may very well be behind in reality against challenger William Russell, and that Murtha directed his "racist" characterization at 12th District residents in general, not just "some" of them.
Here are the key paragraphs from Helfing's report:
The Associated Press this morning did a short and sweet hit piece on Sarah Palin, criticizing the Alaska Governor for acting as, well, the Alaska Governor.
Anne Sutton of the AP essentially mocks Palin for governing the state by ‘remote control.’ It’s not so much the criticism as it is the reality that if Sarah Palin wasn’t doing her job, the AP would be hammering her for that instead. The headline would go from ‘Palin manages to govern Alaska from afar’ to ‘Palin manages to neglect Alaska while campaigning.’
Sutton goes on to offer these hard-hitting examples of journalism that have come to define the AP, using such concrete descriptors as ‘almost a month’ and ‘probably’ to define lengths of time and cost respectively. The entire article follows (emphasis mine):
In a story on "Potential Problems at the Polls," Time's Michael Scherer passed along to readers a misleading anecdote about some nuns from South Bend who were "turned away" from the polls in Indiana's May presidential primary. The scary tale of sweet elderly nuns being robbed of their right to vote was how he introduced Time readers to potential problem #6, "New Burdens of Proof."
The sisters of the holy cross [sic] in notre [sic] Dame, Ind., don't have much use for driver's licenses. Or at least that's what a dozen of the nuns thought on May 6, when they went to vote in the presidential primary. They were each turned away as a result of a recently established ID-check requirement at Indiana polls.
In truth what actually happened was the nuns refused to avail themselves the opportunity of voting via provisional ballot and Scherer is hardly the first to mislead readers as to the facts of the incident in question.As I noted in a May 6 NewsBusters post:
Well, that mean ol' Sarah Palin ruined everything for the St. Louis Blues hockey team, darn it all. That's right the media's newest Cheney replacement must have been planning this monstrous attack on the Blues' goalie for weeks. Her next trick: world domination. At least this seems to be how MSNBC and the Associated Press feel about it all.
What am I talking about? Well, Palin visited the Blues' arena to see a game on October 24 and it seems that Blues goalie Manny Legace tripped on the carpet that the team laid on the ice so that Palin and her family could walk safely out to address the crowd. Because of that injury, the AP and MSNBC both decided that this accident was all Palin's fault. Really.
Associated Press lead reporter Liz Sidoti, other contributors (AP Director of Surveys Trevor Tompson, AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius and AP writer Alan Fram), and the wire service's supposedly vaunted editors apparently don't understand what a polling margin of error is.
In a Wednesday story I found in four different places (CBS News, AP-Google, Breitbart, Yahoo! News), Sidoti et al let a paragraph stand claiming that a 3.5% margin of error in the poll results they were reporting meant that the real results could vary by as many as 14 points.
Here are the key paragraphs found in each story (bold is mine):
An Arkansas TV reporter that had a bit part in Oliver Stone's movie "W" was found beaten unconscious in her Little Rock home on October 20 and in its report on the crime the Associated Press seemed to decide that she was beaten merely because she had appeared in the movie though this impression the AP seems to have is not supported by the police. One wonders why the AP decided to spend almost half its story focusing on her movie role when reporting this crime? Is the AP trying to say her connection with George W. Bush got her attacked? It sure seems like the AP is seized by another bout of Bush Derangement Syndrome with its unnecessary emphasis on this reporter's film role.
The APs obsession with the victim's movie role was odd, indeed. Even in its first few lines the AP ties KATV anchor Ann Pressly to her movie work saying in its first sentence that she "had a small part in the Bush biopic 'W.'" The AP takes pains to point out that in the movie, Pressly "speaks favorably of President Bush's 'Mission Accomplished' event on an aircraft carrier shortly after the start of the Iraq war." The report speaks about how she won the role in the film and then adds this odd sentence:
The hosannas have already been sung in numerous stories of this variety from earlier in the campaign, but for some reason Babington thought fit to chronicle the cries of adulation from the Illinois senator's faithful followers (emphases mine; h/t e-mail tipster Joe Loiacono):
Only a fraction of the thousands of people who attend Obama's larger rallies manage to touch him. They arrive hours early, stand and cheer during his speech, and then scream, jump and sometimes cry out in joy when he uses both hands to briefly press their arms, hands, fingers.
Story after story on the full-year results for the federal budget refers to the size of the full-year deficit for the fiscal year that just ended on September 30 ($455 billion), and how it compares to last year's deficit ($162 billion).
Almost none of them talk about why the deficit ballooned.
I wonder why?
Could it be because the Democrat-controlled Congress of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid allowed spending to spiral out of control?
Apparently the Washington Post thinks it has an ethics violation to hold against Cindy McCain, wife of GOP presidential candidate John McCain. The Post is trying to claim that Cindy McCain somehow illicitly got a portable cell tower delivered to her remote Arizona ranch so that their phones would work there. The truth is, however, the Secret Service ordered up the portable cell tower, not Cindy McCain.
Even the words the Post uses to report the story prove somewhat weasely because, as the Post can't find any actual wrong doing, the story relies on vague ways of implying wrongdoing without actually saying it. In the end, there doesn't seem to be much there, there, but I suppose the Post had to justify the money it spent by publishing this non-story anyway.
Gee, and I thought I might be pushing the envelope on September 28 when I expressed concern that the "bailout" with the made-up $700 billion price tag that turned into the pork-loaded "bailout" with the made-up $850 billion price tag "blackmail" (though "extortion" may be the more appropriate word).
It is clear that this is indeed the case, at least twice over. First, there were the threats made by the Treasury Secretary, the President, and the Fed Chairman warning of a banking Armageddon if Congress didn't pass the bill.
Now there's clear evidence, reported with stunning casualness by CNBC, that Paulson & Co. threatened the big banks in some way to force them to "accept" Uncle Sam's preferred equity investments:
The son of an 8-term Democratic congressman from Illinois has pleaded guilty to having sex with jail inmates under his charge, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group reported today. Yet the congressman's Democratic Party affiliation was left out of the story altogether:
The son of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush will spend six months in jail after pleading guilty to having sexual encounters with two female inmates and arranging encounters with another while serving as a state prison official.
Jeffrey M. Rush, 42, of the 700 block of Brookfield Court in Lake Zurich, pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of official misconduct and agreed to a sentence of 180 days in the Kane County Jail and three years probation, according to a release from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office.
Two of the charges stem from sexual relationships Rush had with two female prison inmates between Feb. 1 and June 18, 2007, while he was serving as head of security at the Fox Valley Adult Transition Center at 1329 Lake St. in Aurora, the release said.
Given that the topic of this post is the Associated Press, I guess I should be pleased to report that one of its two reports tonight about the dive in the stock market last week is correct.
In one article ("Gov't eyes plan to take ownership stakes in banks"), AP's Harry Dunphy and Tom Raum correctly said that "the Dow Jones industrial average just completed its worst week ever, plummeting more than 18 percent." This is sadly true, at least if you "only" go back to 1921 (even I will give AP a pass for not wanting to dig through the muck of 1920, 1907, 1903 and 1901, which the New York Times was using as "hey, it's not that bad" benchmarks as Black Tuesday approached in 1929):
Poor Karl Ritter and Matt Moore of the Associated Press must have a lot of time to kill, a dearth of ideas, and a studied disinterest in accuracy as they await the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Economics in Stockholm, Sweden on Monday. A list of past winners is here.
Besides lamenting that no woman has ever won the Economics Prize (so?), the AP pair felt the need to relate the financial bailout passed by Congress and signed by the President a week ago, and the current steep stock market decline that followed it (or, as yours truly and Investors Business Daily would argue, occurred because of it), to who might win the award.
Along the way, they, as AP reporters are wont to do, erred, and quite seriously.
Here's how their report, weirdly entitled "Amid the meltdown, economics Nobel no easy pick," began (bold is mine):
Interesting, Jew attributes his downfall to the examples of others, and, according to Buchanan, "is prepared to name others who he says have engaged in similar actions." Though there's clearly an element of personal responsibility avoidance at play here, it's nonetheless worth noting that AP and Buchanan still had no interest in learning where Jew picked up what Elias described as "lessons taught by other politicians."
It's getting close to Halloween, so I hope this story doesn't scare you too much. But the Associated Press has discovered that this bad economy is making us ugly. That's right, ugly. Because of this downturn people just cannot afford to go to their friendly neighborhood plastic surgeon for those nips and tucks any more. So it is the AP's sad duty to inform us that "As economy sags, faces do too, cosmetic docs say." It's a horrible, horrible world that we now are cursed to live in if we can't afford our Botox and tummy tucks! Now, they are serious with this so quit your laughing this instant.
The economy isn't the only thing that's sagging -- so are faces, breasts and bellies as would-be cosmetic surgery patients increasingly opt against costly nips and tucks because of tough financial times.
You know, I was complaining to my Mommy yesterday that I didn't want my liposuction and she told me to do it anyway because kids in China could barely afford an eyelift these days. I know I should be grateful for what I have, though. Some people DO have it worse, ya know?