(UPDATE: See Chad's response to Washington Post's Sarah Kliff at the end of this post.) If what Reason's Peter Suderman is reporting is correct — and he certainly appears to have done the kind of digging you would expect conscientious journalists to do — the establishment press's lionization of Chad Henderson the Fantabulous Obamacare Enrollee is about to fall apart.
Suderman spoke at length with Chad Henderson's father, Bill Henderson, and uncovered a litany of contradictions, inconsistencies, and what should have been red flags to journalists who apparently decided that the story was too good to check (links are in original; bolds are mine):
On Thursday, MSNBC's Chuck Todd, in the introduction to his "Daily Rundown" program, characterized both the response to the Obama administration's barricading of the World War II Memorial and Harry Reid's response to a question about helping children with cancer by funding the National Institutes for Health ("Why would we want to do that?") as "manufactured outrage."
World War II ended in 1945, 68 years ago. That war's vets are mostly in their late 80s to mid-90s. Those who don't live within driving distance of Metro DC are running out of time to see the memorial dedicated to their heroic, world-saving efforts. Accordingly, charities such as Honor Flight have been set up to give vets who might not otherwise be able to visit because of finances or infirmity the chance to do so. No one had to "manufacture" outrage over the Obama administration's proactive and vindictive effort to prevent long-scheduled visits from occurring. It came quite naturally. Video (HT Twitchy), relevant portions of Todd's program introduction, and additional comments are after the jump:
Early Thursday morning, swallowing an Obama administration fallback talking point hook, line, and sinker, Juliet Williams and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, described the horrible problems users have had during the past two days in even accessing the Obamacare exchanges, including "overloaded websites and jammed phone lines," as proof of "strong demand for the private insurance plans," and of "exceptionally high interest in the new system."
Really, guys? That doesn't reconcile with other information gleaned from other sources about low enrollments and unimpressive site visit totals. I'll note just a few of them after the jump.
Brett Zongker, the reporter the Associated Press assigned to cover the World War II Memorial story yesterday in Washington, apparently felt compelled to try to find someone who would exclusively blame Congress for the memorial's closure. He failed, but pretended that he succeeded.
For those unfamiliar with the story, in an overrecation to the partial government shutdown, the White House, specifically, the Office of Management and Budget, ordered the open air WWII Memorial barricaded. Anyone attempting to shift the blame elsewhere, e.g., Harry Reid, isn't telling the truth. With the help of several Republican congressmen, a veterans' group there on a long-planned visit breached the "Barry-cades" and openes the memorial. Zongker's report took seven paragraphs to recognize that the congresspersons involved are Republicans, and, as noted earlier, blew his concluding attempt to assign blame (bolds are mine):
The folks in office administration at the Politico had better put in for extra janitorial help. With all the horse manure their reporters are slinging during the partial government shutdown, it's gotta be getting knee-deep in those hoary halls.
One of the more egregious examples of insufferable obsequiousness today came late this morning via Edward-Isaac Dovere and Reid J. Epstein. You see, in their narrow world, President Barack Obama's stature has done a sudden and complete turnaround because he and Harry Reid have chosen to shut down the government (HT the Weekly Standard; bolds are mine):
Michelle Malkin's Twitchy.com has capsulized the Obamacare exchanges' opening day as follows (links are in the original): "HealthCare.gov tried to kick off the Obamacare marketplace this morning … and failed miserably. The website is an error-ridden mess and users are being asked for their patience as the marketplace works out “known issues” with security. But never mind the pesky bugs preventing people from signing up — HealthCare.gov is psyched!"
On the pretty safe assumption that the problems continue, three key questions arise. First, how much exposure will the establishment press give the snafus? Second, to the extent they give them attention, how will they present them — i.e., as "normal startup problems" or "poor execution and planning"? And third, how effective, if at all, will center-right truth-tellers be at breaking through to the general population? Hadas Gold and Kyle Cheney at Politico obsessed over these matters Saturday morning, and in essence virtually begged everyone to be patient (bolds are mine):
It's not yet a safe haven, but it seems that terrorist outfits are having little problem setting up Twitter accounts. It also seems that these accounts tend to stay up until someone complains, meaning that the company either has no effective mechanisms for detecting pro-terror sentiments and the gruesome pictures which sometimes accompany them, or isn't using them. The ease with which all of this can be done has not become much of a national story, even though becoming one would seem to be a natural outgrowth of last week's Kenya mall attack, given that one such Twitter account gleefully posted attack photos.
Here are some of the specfiics from Bridget Johnson at PJ Media (bolds are mine):
Whether the ice caps are melting and by how much may be debatable, but the debate is over as to whether former Wall Street Journal weatherman Eric Holthaus, who now works at Quartz (qz.com), has had a meltdown.
In a series of tweets on Friday afternoon (scroll down at link; HT Twitchy), Holthaus told the world of his reaction to the latest wave of hot air emanating from the Intergovernmental Governmental Panel on Climate Change, and actions he plans to take to respond to it (most recent tweet is first; underlines are mine):
Liberals like to say that conservatives are behind the times...but 3,000 years behind? In a way, that's what the Daily Kos blogger who calls himself "waterstreet2013" asserted on Wednesday.
The starting point for "waterstreet2013" was a theory proposed in 1976 by psychologist Julian Jaynes, who argued that until about 1000 BC, people routinely experienced and acted on auditory hallucinations that they took to be commands from their dead ancestors, earthly rulers, or gods. The Kossack contends that today's conservatives are in a sense throwbacks to those pre-conscious humans (emphasis added):
Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas thinks conservatives live in a hermetically sealed bubble of Fox News and Breitbart commenters. On Thursday he mocked "reality-bending" Michael Walsh of National Review for suggesting the country would tilt away from Republican Tea Party-bashers like John McCain.
“Conservatives love to quote the 'public', the 'country', the 'American people' without ever pointing to a single poll because, as we all know, they're on the wrong side of virtually every issue,” Kos proclaimed, ignoring how polls have showed the approval of Obamacare has been underwater for years.
Back in June, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis became a national darling of the left when she filibustered in opposition to legislation, ultimately passed in July, which bans most abortions in the Lone Star State after 20 weeks of pregnancy and "requires doctors performing an abortion to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic."
The arch-liberal Huffington Post was among those losing all perspective over the alleged wonders of Wendy Davis. An astute tweet carried at Twitchy.com (original tweet here) notes that at one point it headlined Davis's stalling tactics as "THE FILIBUSTER HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD." Now let's compare how HuffPo is treating Texas Senator Ted Cruz's filibuster:
As Brent Bozell at NewsBusters noted earlier today, news of the forced retirement of the IRS's Lois Lerner, the agency's chief orchestrator of the campaign which targeted tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny in their applications for not-for-profit status, "was censored by ABC, CBS, and NBC."
In what may surprise some, that lack of coverage didn't occur because of the Associated Press. Stephen Ohlemacher's story was mostly well-done, with two significant exceptions.
You have to wonder what it will take for anyone in the establishment press to call out a major malfunction associated with Obamacare for what it really is. The threshold is apparently something worse than hundreds of thousands of children, many of whom previously had coverage, going without health insurance.
One of the latest headlined examples of reality avoidance first appeared at USA Today's web site Monday evening (the current 11:55 p.m. time stamp indicates that there has since been a story revision): "'Family glitch' in health law could be painful."(Could be?) Additionally, as seen here (HT Twitchy), that pathetic headline to Kelly Kennedy's story also appears in McPaper's Tuesday print edition (bolds are mine):
On Friday, Allan Brauer, the Sacramento County Democratic Party's communications director directed the following tweet (HT Twitchy) at Amanda Carpenter, a speechwriter for Texas Senator Ted Cruz: "May your children all die from debilitating, painful and incurable diseases."
Brauer's action got the attention of Leslie Larson at the New York Daily News and myriad national web sites across the ideological spectrum, including Mediaite, PJ Media, and The Blaze. But at the Associated Press, it's a California-only story worthy of only five paragraphs (reproduced in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):
The Associated Press, in story carried at Channel 6 in Lawrence, reported (HT Twitchy) that a Kansas University professor has been "placed on administrative leave" after he issued the following tweet concerning Monday's Navy Yard murders: "The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you." A NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd yesterday, since updated to note his placement on leave, noted that Guth is an avid gun-grabbing advocate and that his Twitter account links to KU.
The AP apparently wants those who peruse its national site to skip their story on Guth. The item's headline belongs in the "this is boring, don't waste your time" wing of the Journalism Hall of Shame:
With the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, it's always a good idea to verify whether a claimed correction has truly taken effect.
In the case of the wire service's claim, relayed by Paige Lavender at the Huffington Post, that Aaron Alexis used an AR-15 in the Navy Yard murders yesterday, it hasn't really happened. Lavender's relay claiming AP's correction and containing some of its alleged text (HT Twitchy.com) was suspicious on its face:
As usual, the AP and Kuhnhenn didn't look back at how U.S. Senator Barack Obama's debt-ceiling posture in 2006 sharply differed. Today, Mark Knoller at CBS New, after setting up Obama's plans for the day, which included speaking to Business Roundtable CEOs, did so in a series of tweets (HT Twitchy; bolds are mine):
It's Science 101 time for the editorialists at the Washington Post, whose opposition to Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is so fierce that they will literally twist the facts of life to fit their agenda.
As Steve Ertelt at Life News noted Tuesday afternoon, the editorial involved includes "a rather un-scientific claim," namely that "an unborn baby shortly after conception" doesn't achieve status as a "living being" until implantation in the mother's womb.
At the New York Times on Tuesday, Michael S. Schmidt claimed that "The suspect in the killing of 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday test-fired an AR-15 assault rifle at a Virginia gun store last week but was stopped from buying one because state law there prohibits the sale of such weapons to out-of-state buyers, according to two senior law enforcement officials."
The portion of that statement about being "stopped from buying" an AR-15 isn't true, writes Emily Miller at the Washington Times, not only because "state law" wouldn't have prevented such an attempt, but also because Aaron Alexis didn't even try to buy one. Miller asserts that the New York Times "should issue a correction immediately." She also decries the establishment media's "obsession" with tying the AR-15 to the Navy Yard shooting (bolds are mine throughout this post):
A 6 p.m. Google News search on "Occupy Movement" (not in quotes, sorted by date) returned 69 items dated September 16 and 17.
The same search adding the word "capitalism" returned only two items. This is odd, because, as one of the two items returned noted, "capitalism" — as in ending it — is the core platform of the few who remain involved with the two year-old movement.
American kids are woefully behind the curve when it comes to courses of study in the STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] fields, liberals love to tell us. To prepare our kids for success in a global economy, we need more federal involvement in education, they argue.
But heaven forbid the U.S. military be part of that solution, that might lead to a "militarization of young minds." "In its rush to find the next generation of cyberwarriors, the military has begun to infiltrate our high schools and even our middle schools, blurring the line between education and recruitment," Baruch College English professor Corey Mead groused in his September 17 blog post for Time magazine's Ideas blog headlined "Military Recruiters Have Gone Too Far." Mead pointed to "[t]he Air Force, for example," which "runs a 'CyberPatriot' national high school cyberdefense competition, geared toward influencing students to pursue careers in cybersecurity." He continues:
No website outdoes the Politico when it comes to looking at the world through Beltway-stereotyping glasses. A post this morning on Republican congressmen and senators' views towards attacking Syria exemplifies that outlook.
Apparently, in the fevered minds of Alex Isenstadt and James Hohmann, a GOP lawmaker learning about any idea to intervene militarily automatically salivates at the prospect and shuts down all critical thinking processes. The Politico pair are puzzled at how so many of them can possibly be opposed to President Obama's proposed Syria intervention. It's really not that hard, guys, if you abandon your stereotypes and do some thinking yourselves for a change. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Catholic News Agency is ahead of the curve on a likely major development affecting a U.S. household name.
The Coca-Cola Company's sponsorship of a "controversial Spanish reality (TV) show" ("disgusting" would appear to be a better word) in Spain is blowing up in its face, and not only because of the content of the program itself. The caustic reaction of a Coke executive to those who have criticized his company's support of the program has sparked calls for a boycott of the company's products which seems to have the potential to cut into the company's sales volume. Excerpts from CNA's Friday coverage follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Daily Kos bloggers like to trash Fox News, even if some seem not to have ever watched the channel. (It's always amusing when one of them writes about Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity as if they were interchangeable. Uhhhh, no.)
Others, however, do at least a bit of content analysis. DKos featured writer "Hunter," for example, has long been especially contemptuous of FNC's morning program Fox & Friends. This past Tuesday, "Hunter" lauded John McCain for supposedly schooling Brian Kilmeade on the equivalence of "Allahu Akbar" and "Thank God." "Hunter" mused, "I wonder how far Sen. John McCain will get explaining Muslim culture to the fenceposts of the Fox News team."
In Part 1 of this pair of posts on the press whitewash of President Barack Obama's "red line" on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, I looked at the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, who excused President Barack Obama's contradictory "red line" remarks as "offhand" statements" which shouldn't count for much compared to official statements and press releases by diplomats and the White House. (Who knew?)
PolitiFact's Jon Greenberg has also predictably weighed in with the excuse-makers. The web site didn't even bother applying a "Truth-o-meter" rating, claiming that Obama "never denied using the phrase or giving it the significance it has today." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The departing members are those in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. In a three-page letter to AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka, ILWU President Donald McEllrath laid out concerns over picket-line crossings and encroachments by other AFL-CIO affilliates, but also cited Trumka's "overly moderate, compromising policy positions on such important matters as immigration, labor law reform, health care reform, and international labor issues." A few paragraphs from AP's unbylined regional story are after the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
In a Thursday morning speech, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka told of how surprised how he was, in the words of Time's Alex Rogers at it Swampland blog, "that employers have reduced workers’ hours below 30-a-week to avoid an employer penalty scheduled to go into effect in 2015."
Here's another "surprise" from Rogers' report, at least for those who think that lawmakers sit alone and draw up 2,000-page pieces of legislation on their own (except when the media relays claims by the left that evil industries write laws which evil Republican congressmen simply rubber-stamp them): Trumka admitted organized labor's direct involvement in in writing Obamacare. In other words, labor created the mess it is now denouncing (bolds are mine throughout this post):
At the New York Times's "Dot Earth" blog, Andrew Revkin reports that "the science on a connection between hurricanes and global warming is going in the opposite direction" — as in, the evidence that the connection between human-caused global warming (overgenerously assuming that there is any) and hurricane intensity or frequency of "heavy precipitations events," as shown in a "snapshot" of a draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's upcoming report, is one of "low confidence."
Fine, as in "It's about time." But at the bottom of that same graphic are findings relating to sea levels which appear to be laugh-out-loud funny.
On Thursday morning, the Columbus Dispatch's Darrel Rowland reported ("Gun battle slated for high noon in downtown Columbus") that "Mayors Against Illegal Guns is coming to Columbus on Friday for an event urging Sen. Rob Portman to support expanding background checks on gun purchases," and that "guns rights groups are planning to make their voices heard, too." There was no follow-up on what happened at the Michael Bloomberg-supported group's rally; we'll see why shortly.
Organizing for Action, the group which exists solely to promote President Barack Obama's agenda, also scheduled a rally to promote illegal-immigrant amnesty in Columbus on Friday. Intrepid center-right blogger Jesse Hathaway reported attendance (HT Twitchy) of perhaps a half-dozen. A search of the first couple of pages (here and here) of results on "immigration" at the Dispatch's web site returned no relevant coverage (results were not sorted by date, but seemed to generally move backwards in time).
Almost all of today's conservatives believe that their predecessors in the 1950s and '60s should not have opposed the civil-rights movement. Plenty of liberals counter that the right's wrongness on racial matters is by no means a thing of the past. This week, three Daily Kos writers advanced that idea.
Laura Clawson asserted on Monday that "for a hundred years after the Civil War, white people gave themselves the most extreme form of affirmative action by law and at gunpoint. Then for 50 years, they've insisted that any real steps to undo that damage were unfair."