One doesn't have to look very far to see opinionated assertions in the supposedly objective Old Media coverage of yesterday's immigration-bill failure in the Senate.
Here's part of what an unbylined AP report said almost immediately after it was clear that the bill would not get the 60 votes needed for cloture: "The carefully crafted compromise was left for dead after a similar vote three weeks ago but was revived by Bush and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who gave opponents more chances to change it."
To say that there is disagreement over whether the bill was "carefully crafted" is quite an understatement.
A report in the Seattle Times "compiled from The Washington Post, Gannett News Service, The Associated Press and McClatchy Newspapers" made this claim about yesterday's vote: "In a mark of lawmakers' ambivalence, however, the outcome was substantially different from a test vote Tuesday, when a 64-35 vote revived the bill."
Was it lawmaker "ambivalence," or constituent persuasiveness? And how do they know?
But the biggest error, as often is the case, was one of omission. Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts lit into opponents on the Senate floor yesterday with this over-the-top riff (video is at Hot Air; bold is mine):
Saying that it "perpetuates a subtle myth," a senior Pentagon official has responded to an AP story that appeared earlier this week, attracting considerable national coverage, regarding the drop in military enlistment by African-Americans. In comments to this NewsBuster, Bill Carr, the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy [photo], said that "the AP left readers with an impression that something sinister was emerging, but one must by unusually cynical to miss the real story."
The AP story reported that the number of blacks joining the military "has plunged by more than one-third since the Afghanistan and Iraq wars began. Other job prospects are soaring and relatives of potential recruits increasingly are discouraging them from joining the armed services."
The story describes a Sean Glover in Washington, D.C., who "said he has done all he can to talk black relatives out of joining the military," quoting Glover to this effect:
"I don't think it's a good time. I don't support the government's efforts here and abroad. There's other ways you can pay for college. There's other ways you can get your life together. Joining the Army, the military, comes at a very high price."
Said Carr: "this perpetuates a subtle myth that minorities suffer death or injury disproportionately. The opposite is true as a function of voluntary career selections -- choices that we celebrate. In fact, African-Americans continue to advantage their futures through valuable job training in fields such as medical or dental technician."
In a landmark 5-4 case today, the U.S. Supreme Court found that two school systems had improperly used race as a consideration in managing the public school districts. Web sites for many newspapers have carried Associated Press coverage of the ruling, and the later the revision of the AP report, the more information tends to be packed in them.
As of 1:15 a.m. Eastern when I started this post*, the Los Angeles Times front page linked to an AP story published just before 11 a.m. Eastern. But in that version of the AP story, Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, is not quoted at all. Yet a similar AP story (perhaps the same story but with fewer paragraphs edited out) was published just minutes later in the Washington Examiner.
As Democrats complain about conservative dominance on the radio, the hypocrisy is made crystal clear when America's leading wire service copies talking points directly from one of Howard Dean’s e-mail messages for a hit piece on looming Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson.
Such was identified by Steve Hill of Target Rich Environment who brilliantly outlined the similarities between an e-mail message he received Friday from the Democratic National Committee chairman (complete text with timestamp and e-mail address to follow) with an Associated Press article published Tuesday at CNN.com (emphasis added throughout):
Kudos to Associated Press (via Yahoo!) for noting the death toll (and the toll in chaos) of the Maoist Shining Path/Sendero Luminoso terrorists in Peru in a story on how another of Hollywood's leftist political dilettantes thinks she's in solidarity with the masses, when she's in solidarity with a slaughterer of the masses:
Actress Cameron Diaz appears to have committed a major fashion faux pas in Peru. The voice of Princess Fiona in the animated "Shrek" films may have inadvertently offended Peruvians who suffered decades of violence from a Maoist guerrilla insurgency by touring here Friday with a bag emblazoned with one of Mao Zedong's favorite political slogans.
Wyoming's governor (Democrat Dave Freudenthal) just announced the successor to the late Republican Senator Craig Thomas. This AP story, which appears on numerous news outlet websites, highlights John Barrasso's many conservative qualities. It's entitled "Conservative Wyo. Surgeon Named Senator":
Barrasso, 54, will serve in Thomas' place until the beginning of 2009. He said on his application that he also intends to then run in a November 2008 special election to serve out the remainder of Thomas' term, which ends in 2013.
Barrasso also left no doubt that he will be a conservative voice in Washington.
"I believe in limited government, lower taxes, less spending, traditional family values, local control and a strong national defense," the orthopedic surgeon and state senator from Casper wrote in his application.
He said he has "voted for prayer in schools, against gay marriage and have sponsored legislation to protect the sanctity of life."
When it was announced Tuesday that China surpassed the United States as the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide, NewsBusters asked, “Will Media Notice?”
In reality, the answer is a mixed windbag, with most press outlets totally ignoring the revelation, and a few actually blaming the problem on – wait for it! – the United States. I kid you not.
However, before we address that stupidity, it first must be relayed that not one of the television news outlets bothered reporting the Chinese CO2 data at all. It appears that television news divisions only feel CO2 is a problem if it’s emitted by American corporations or citizens.
As for the print media, the few that did cover this story either gave it very little attention, or made some fairly predictable excuses for why it’s okay as the planet nears its seemingly inevitable doom at the hands of greenhouse gases for China to be the leading “polluter.”
For instance, the New York Times devoted a total of 83 words to this story in its “World Briefing Asia” section Thursday on page A12 (no link available):
An article by Ryan Lenz of the Associated Press reported on the shooting of two sheriff’s deputies in Georgetown, Indiana by a teenager, who subsequently killed himself. The article, entitled "Officials: Teen used WWII-era rifle," identified the weapon used in the shooting as a "sniper rifle" in its lead sentence. Two paragraphs later, the weapon was specifically-identified as M-1 Garand. [pictured at right, photo via MemorablePlaces.com]
Anyone who has seen "Saving Private Ryan" or the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" has seen the M-1 Garand, the standard service weapon in World War II for the American military. It was the first semi-automatic rifle to be issued in mass quantities to infantry forces. It was used with great effect during the war, and General George Patton called it "the greatest implement of battle ever devised." Since it was a standard weapon, it was generally not used in the sniper role for most of the war. Two versions of the rifle for snipers, the M-1C and M-1D were issued in small quantities in the last year of the war, which had the telescopic sight needed for snipers.
"An Eco-System Runs Through It" trumpets the June 19 front page headline in the San Antonio Express-News. The Anastasia Ustinova story manages to combine two liberal positions together in the guise of protecting the environment, as the sub-head tells readers that "Fencing threatens critters - and eco system."
The story goes on to note that the fence "would cut large swaths through sensitive habitat and harm rare or threatened species." The story reads like liberal environmental literature and even has time to push a non-green liberal cause: preventing border fencing.
Yet once again the left gets confused about the difference of opinion and actual balanced news.
AP's David Bauder interviewed disgraced Bush-hating ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather, and includes this fun fact about his current HDNet digs: "Two former CBS News producers run the 'Dan Rather Reports' staff with their boss. Their office a few steps away from Times Square -- Rather critics will love this -- is located in the Bush Building."
At Human Events, Chris Plante has a funny take on CBS's answers to Dan Rather's attack on soft-soap Katie Couric and the supposed sexism that's causing her low ratings:
Maybe if Katie delivered the news in a white, embroidered apron from a studio decorated like a 1950’s kitchen we’d all tune in. She could open the broadcast with a nicely browned turkey on a platter, placing it gingerly on a French country table with lace doilies and then spend 30 minutes lying to us. The CBS Evening News with Barbara Billingsley.
On may 29th, the AP reported that Vice President Dick Cheney told the Secret Service to eliminate the records of visitors to the Vice President's mansion on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington D.C. fitting with the MSM's claims that the VP is "too secretive." Cheney’s office countered with the fact that he had written orders to save those records. Naturally the New York Times jumped on the bandwagon with a June 3rd piece that went wild-eyed and frothing, veering straight for the "Haliburton" canard that the left has tried to hang on Cheney since his first days in office instead of staying on the topic of the visitor records.
From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Cheney received "deferred salary payments" from Halliburton that far exceeded what taxpayers gave him. Mr. Cheney still holds hundreds of thousands of stock options that have ballooned by millions of dollars as Halliburton profited handsomely from the war in Iraq.
As they are wont to do, the Times again tried to link Cheney with Haliburton payouts despite the fact that the VP has not benefited from any such income since being elected to office.
At this point, the answer to the latter is a resounding “No.” The answer to the former is “Not much.”
To be more specific, extensive searches of Google News and LexisNexis have identified that no major American media outlet with the exception of the New York Daily News bothered to report the theft of Yasser Arafat’s Noble Peace Prize:
In a rather soft boiled story on West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd's dotage and his uselessness as an able bodied member of the Senate, at 89 he's currently the longest serving Senator in American history, the AP did the right thing in reminding the readers that Byrd was once a member of the Klan. Yet, they had to go and ruin the truth by claiming that Klan members are "certainly conservative."
In fact, this AP story amazingly tries to make it seem as if Byrd had only late in life become that member of Congress that has been "endeared" to "many liberals", hinting that it only just dawned on him after 53 years in the Senate to become a liberal. The AP imagines that Byrd somehow "remade" himself into a liberal over the Bush administration's Iraq policy, as if he never was one before that.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his political party are pretty popular these days. He's only enjoying a landslide parliamentary election a month after he routed Socialist Segolene Royal to gain the keys to the Élysée Palace.
But the way you read it in the Associated Press, it almost sounds as if Sarkozy is a latter day Robespierre, at least in that there's some Reign of Terror just waiting to break out all over the Fifth Republic. [Emphasis mine]
PARIS -- President Nicolas Sarkozy appears to have won a mandate for change after his party swept first-round parliamentary elections, and he is picking up speed in his plans to overhaul France's welfare state. But rivals say he should watch out.
A major misstep, critics warn, and the streets again could explode in anger.
The AP has given us a piece on how "Right-Wing" book publishers are "worried" over the future success of publishing books on conservatives topics. One cannot help wonder, though, if the "worry" by the so-called "right-wing" publishers is more like the APs glee when you read their piece titled, "Right-Wing Publishers Worry About Future", by Hillel Italie, AP National Writer.
The first half of this story leads the reader to imagine that Conservative books are hurting in the market with all the negative quotes employed about their future. Naturally, after that first half about how dismal the future for conservative books is, the story then takes a turn to praise liberal books, showing how "energized" they are, after which the story broadens into a piece about the entire BookExpo America gathering.
When done reading the report, you realize that, despite the story's title, it isn't just about how bad the conservative book market is, but, instead, it is a story on the whole of the BookExpo America trade show. Why, exactly, is this titled the way it is, then, if it isn't just about how bad the conservative market is?
Here’s an inconvenient truth the media aren’t likely to share with citizens as they continue to spread global warming alarmism: schemes currently being debated to reduce CO2 emissions likely will destroy the airline industry while diminishing new job creation.
So suggested a Seattle Times article Wednesday (h/t Chris Horner, emphasis added):
European airlines claimed say the European Union' plan for a mandatory greenhouse-gas cap and trading system would cripple the industry with extra costs of $5.4 billion a year.
Low-cost airlines such as Ryanair joined major carriers such as British Airways and Lufthansa in saying the plan would diminish mobility, hurt the overall economy and cut off remote areas from tourist traffic, citing a report that the airlines commissioned from global accounting group Ernst & Young and air transport consultants York Aviation.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? However, the news is even worse according to an Associated Press article also published Wednesday (h/t Benny Peiser, emphasis added):
Who would have thought that chivalry would still be alive at the liberal Associated Press? Yet in its story on the split between Larry and Laurie David, the venerable wire agency states the age, 59, of the creator of Seinfeld, but not that of his activist wife, producer of Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth."
Isn't the feminist AP the home of strong women, proud of every wrinkle?
For the record, Laurie hits the half-century mark next March . . . unless of course a global-warming catastrophe stops the clock for all of us before then.
With no shortage of items documenting how the American media are liberally biased, it’s often easy to forget how the European media are so much more dominated by the hard left. In his cover story on the war in Afghanistan in the June 11 Weekly Standard, Michael Fumento recounted his experience embedded with the U.S. military at Forward Operating Base Lagman in the Zabul province of Afghanistan.
Fumento was assigned quarters with two Spaniards working for the Associated Press. One of them seems to be in a mind-meld with Rosie O’Donnell (“he believes 9/11 was a Bush administration conspiracy hung on al Qaeda”) while the other reporter “never takes off his Che Guevera T-shirt.”
No wonder the European press thinks our media are just a bunch of Bush administration cheerleaders!
NEW YORK (AP) — The nation's service sector expanded at a faster-than-expected pace in May, suggesting it could help sustain broader economic growth as the automotive and housing industries slump, a research group said Tuesday.
The Institute for Supply Management, based in Tempe, Ariz., said its index of business activity in the non-manufacturing sector was 59.7 in May. The reading was higher than April's reading of 56 and Wall Street's expectation of 56.
..... The service industries covered by the ISM report represent about 80 percent of economic activity and span diverse industries including banking, construction, retailing, mining, agriculture and travel.
NewsBusters reader Paul Farmer (NoMoreClintons) sent along the following this morning a guest blog submission. Farmer touched on the decidedly vague guidance that the Associated Press gives reporters on when to include a politician's party affiliation.
Farmer has an older AP Stylebook than I have (I have the 2006 edition), but the portion on "party affiliation" he excerpts from his is nearly a word-for-word match with mine.
So in light of AP's pattern of obscuring the party affiliation of the recently indicted Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) (as reported by NB's Lynn Davidson) and an initial lack of interest by some media in Jefferson's scandal (see this oldie but a goodie from 2005, the early days of NB), I'd thought I'd share Mr. Farmer's thoughts with you:
In this June 4 article, the AP worked hard to leave out something very important but very basic in an article about Democratic US Representative William Jefferson’s 16-count bribery indictment. What the AP left out was any identification of Jefferson’s party affiliation. In almost 30 paragraphs, no where is there any hint of what party Jefferson belongs to, not even a “(D-LA).”
When a politician is in trouble and the party is not identified, it a safe bet to assume that the missing letter is a Big “D,” as in this AP piece.
How were other politicians identified? Nancy Pelosi is identified as “Pelosi, D-Calif.” John Boehner is identified as “House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio.” But Jefferson is not a Democrat, just “Louisiana congressman William Jefferson.” Strange how that works, huh?
Since party is usually identified in the first paragraphs, the AP had many opportunities to note that Jefferson is a Democrat and simply did not (emphasis mine):
Someone at the AP must really like Stephen Colbert. A bait-and-switch June 3 article was supposedly about a new book by Afghanistan-born author Khaled Hosseini, but gave readers stealth fanboy journalism that wrote a play by play of Colbert’s shtick without discussing the book. From the reporting, the BookExpo America breakfast was more like a segment of the “Colbert Report” than a national book fair discussion. Instead of any information about the book, it was line after line of Colbert coverage, "That Stephen Colbert sure is funny, and he sure has some funny ideas about books. Just ask "The Kite Runner" author Khaled Hosseini."
A plot to blow up a major airport and with it a huge fuel pipeline running under densely-populated residential neighborhoods is, safe to say, an objectively devastating and horrific prospect were it executed to fruition. So why the editorial version of air quotes in this June 2 AP story (h/t DailyGut.com) for the word "chilling"?:
NEW YORK - Federal authorities announced Saturday they had broken up a
suspected Muslim terrorist cell planning a "chilling" attack to destroy
John F. Kennedy International Airport, kill thousands of people and
trigger an economic catastrophe by blowing up a jet fuel artery that
runs through populous residential neighborhoods.
Three men, one
of them a former member of Guyana's parliament, were arrested and one
was being sought in Trinidad as part of a plot that authorities said
they had been tracked for more than a year and was foiled in the
Well, not according to Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press.
In an article published Saturday entitled “Blame Coal: Texas Leads Carbon Emissions” (h/t NBer dscott), the AP writer, whilst trying to point fingers at certain states for being bigger polluters than others, accidentally suggested that global warming might actually be a good thing.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at paragraph eight (emphasis added):
In April, NewsBusters contributor Dan Gainor criticized how the Washington Post puffed up a liberal secessionist movement in the state of Vermont. You know, the state that now has two very liberal independent senators, socialist professor Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy (D), and previously gave the nation RINO-turned-independent Jim Jeffords. [UPDATE: See "Little Green Footballs" for more on just how liberal the secessionist movement's leaders are]
Well, now the Associated Press is running with the story, and outlets like CBSNews.com are peddling the piece to readers. In CBS's case this morning, on the Web site's front page (see screencap at right).
Nowhere in the story does the AP describe the key players behind the secession movement as liberal or even as "progressive," (not to mention conspiracy nutjobs-- see bottom of post) nor is any pundit brought in to chalk up their rumblings about secession as hysteria driven by Bush Derangement Syndrome.
What's more, the AP doesn't address the unconstitutionality of secession until late in the article and even then in a misleading fashion: