New indictments on theft and perjury charges handed down against Democratic Mayor Sheila Dixon are a “blow to Baltimore’s pride” leading “political watchers” to huff in disgust that it’s time to “get this over with,” reports Annie Linskey this morning at BaltimoreSun.com.
Of course almost all of the political watchers quoted in the story – the exception being University of Virginia’s Larry J. Sabato – are, like Dixon, Democratic officeholders:
The new indictments issued last week in the City Hall corruption probe has many of Baltimore's political leaders impatient for resolution to a case that has spanned three years and left the city's reputation in limbo.
"Most people I talk to are saying 'Let's just get this over with,' " said Baltimore Del. Curtis S. Anderson, a Democrat. "Let's get to trial and see what really happened."
David Zurawik, a TV critic for The Baltimore Sun, has called for the “TV press...to step back and question how it is covering President Barack Obama.” Moreover, Zurawik gives a laudatory nod to Fox News for its balanced coverage of the President: “I hesitate to write these words, but good for Fox. It must be doing something right, if it has the President complaining about the tiny bit of scrutiny he gets on TV.”
The Sun critic is referring to a CNBC interview this past Tuesday, where President Obama complained that "one television station is entirely devoted to attacking" his administration. While he declined to name the network when asked by CNBC interviewer John Harwood, it is undoubtedly the Fox News Network.
Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik should check into a clinic somewhere to have his delicate mental balance checked. Maybe they might have some nice medication he can take to temper his Palin Derangement Syndrome (PDS)? He has PDS so bad he can't even write about a little reality TV show without indulging unnecessary vitriol and hate.
It's interesting that critic Zurawik gets so filled with hate in such a short space. In fact, the tiny four paragraph "review" spends more time name calling and attacking Governor Palin than it does in discussing the TV show on which she is about to appear; TLC's American Chopper.
Did you know that elderly people are utterly hopeless sad sacks who can't adapt to change?
That's what readers of the Baltimore Sun were basically greeted with in a February 17 story -- "Some left out in switch from analog to digital signal" -- which dutifully found two elderly women who are unprepared for a partial TV-less existence since two Baltimore stations ditched their analog signals at midnight.
Baltimore Sun reporters David Zurawik and Sam Sessa told the sad tales of 68-year old Janice Stephenson and 84-year old Eula Riggle. Sandwiched between their tales of woe, Zurawik and Sessa quoted a college professor who blamed the federal government for the supposed catastrophe and a politician who complained about the voucher program and the quality of the converter boxes that have been installed for senior citizens.
Yet when it comes to the Sun's actual poster women for TV deprivation, Stephenson and Riggle, the former had planned to start a cable subscription -- she postponed it having heard of the nationwide DTV conversion deadline being pushed back to June -- and the latter bought a converter box, only to end up selling it to someone else.
Reporting on his January 29 State of the State Address in which Maryland's liberal Democratic governor promised new government spending programs and the continuance of a costly state college tuition freeze, the Baltimore Sun headlined the story "O'Malley Sets a Leaner Course for Maryland."
Yet as Sun reporters Laura Smitherman and Gadi Dechter made clear, O'Malley has made clear he hopes to avoid axing 700 state worker jobs after getting an infusion of cash from Washington:
In his address, the governor repeated his hope that a federal stimulus package moving through Congress would enable the state to avoid many painful cuts. He told lawmakers that he expects the final budget they consider in April to be better than the one he submitted to them. "Why?" O'Malley said. "Two reasons. Barack ... Obama."
So O'Malley's "leaner course" really depends on just how much pork a Democratic Congress and president shovel the reliably blue state's way.
What's more, as Smitherman and Dechter noted deeper in their article, O'Malley has postponed previously planned budget cuts, much to the chagrin of the state's Democratic comptroller, no right-winger he:
During a breaking news brief on Friday’s Newsroom program, CNN anchor Kyra Phillips failed to identify the party affiliation of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, a Democrat, who earlier in the day had been indicted on 12 counts related to a corruption probe by Maryland state officials. She did identify Dixon as “the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor” and “the first African-American female to serve as that city’s mayor.”
Phillips began the brief with a lament over corruption in politics in general: “Oh, as if we don’t have enough public corruption within our politics to report, we’ve got another piece of news that [is] just developing right now.” She then reported that the Baltimore mayor had been “indicted on public corruption...12 counts, I’m told -- perjury, theft, misconduct in office.” After describing some of the circumstances into the multi-year investigation, she continued her lament by focusing on the prestige of Dixon: “It’s a shame -- Mrs. Dixon was the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor -- also the -- you know, the first African-American female to serve as that city’s mayor.” The mayor’s Democratic affiliation was neither mentioned by Phillips during her brief, nor by CNN’s on-screen graphics.
If ever there was a new year's resolution the mainstream media could take up, it would be to note the party affiliation of indicted politicians regardless of their political party and especially when noting indictments in urban areas where one party holds a monopoly on city government.
Take for example a January 8 Baltimore Sun article running on page B4 of the same day's Washington Post*, that informed readers that Baltimore City Council member Helen Holton was indicted the day before "on bribery charges related to tax breaks for a high-end building under construction on the [Baltimore] city waterfront." Also indicted in the same investigation was Ronald H. Lipscomb, a real estate developer "with close ties to Mayor Sheila Dixon."
Neither Dixon's nor Holton's party affiliations were mentioned in the 5-paragraph Baltimore Sun brief, although a longer article available at the paper's Web site noted that Holton is a "West Baltimore Democrat." Dixons' party affiliation was left unmentioned in the Jan. 7 article filed by staffers Annie Linskey and Julie Bykowicz.
A lot of liberal media bias boils down to word choice and the loaded connotations they can bring in service of a liberal slant. The headline for a November 11 Baltimore Sun story about the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was no different.
"Bishop denounces U.S. abortion rights" read the loaded headline, which evokes in readers the sense of a stern cleric inveighing against a "woman's right to choose" rather than concerned clergy worried about the loss of life and trauma to pregnant mothers caused by abortion.
The article itself gave a more nuanced portrait than the stark headline announced, reporting that Francis Cardinal George expressed his concern in terms of the incoming Obama administration's record on "social justice" and "universal human rights":
The film critic -- who gave the film just one and a half stars -- cracked that the script sounded like recycled Maureen Dowd cartoons and scoffed at the "uneven pleasure" of seeing "first-rate" actors portraying political figures they "don't respect" (emphases mine):
Its shortcomings are remarkably similar to those of its major characters. Near the beginning, Donald Rumsfeld ( Scott Glenn) proclaims that he doesn't do "nuance." Neither, alas, does Stone.
Attention Baltimore area paramedics! Please monitor the poll returns on election day in November. If the McCain/Palin team turn out to be victorious, you will have to make an emergency trip to the home of Baltimore Sun columnist, Susan Reimer. As chronicled a few weeks ago by your humble correspondent, Reimer is in the throes of extreme PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome). Here is but one example of her deranged rantings at the beginning of September:
You want to look good to the evangelicals? Choose a running mate with a Down syndrome child.
Such foulness of thought earned Reimer well deserved castigation from normal people which, in turn, caused her to loudly whine about the complaints in the form of over 8200 angry comments, 700 e-mails, and 50 phone calls. Break out your hankies as you read the self-pity that oozed out of Reimer last month:
Susan Reimer, columnist for the Baltimore Sun, is shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that people took exception to her tactless bashing of Governor Sarah Palin in her September 1 column, "A woman -- but why this woman?" In fact, Reimer is so upset that people where exercised enough to drop her a note, give her a call, or write an email about her baseless smearing of Palin that she says in her September 5 column that she feels "frightened." Do you want some cheese and crackers to go with that whine, Reimer?
On Monday, I wrote a column criticizing the McCain campaign for what I saw as a cynical attempt to gather in unhappy women voters by naming Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin his vice presidential candidate and for exploiting the poignant story of her youngest child to appease the Republican Party's pro-life base... And then the storm began.
Reimer was shocked to find that her substance free, lie filled attack on John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin generated "More than 8,200 comments were posted to the column on The Baltimore Sun's Web site. I received more than 700 personal e-mails and about 50 phone calls."
With the massive and desperate MSM attack upon Sarah Palin, there is a lot of competition in the venom spewing department. However, Baltimore Sun columnist Susan Reimer seems determined to make a strong bid for the most seriously deranged of all attacks upon Palin in her most recent column which starts out on her assumption that the Alaska governor is unqualified:
So. This is what being pandered to feels like.
John McCain picked Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska and mother of five, to be his running mate to woo women like me.
He seems to think that my girlfriends and I are so disappointed that an utterly qualified woman is not going to be president that we will jump at the chance to vote for an utterly unqualified woman for vice president.
So does that mean Reimer thinks Barack Obama, with no executive experience and a less than stellar incomplete Senate term is also "unqualified?" She doesn't say as Reimer warms up for more attacks upon Palin:
Phelps's drug of choice: rocking out on his iPod before a swim.
I kid you not.
To be fair to the Sun, Maese posted the letter from Dr. Alexei Koudinov without comment, but given the Sun's liberal biases and the fact that as a Towson, Maryland, native Phelps's hometown paper is the Sun, it's rather ridiculous to give Koudinov's argument the time of day. Koudinov's argument in a nutshell:
While the Sun's reporters should be commended for following the unfolding story -- today's article by staffer John Fritze made the front page of the print edition and was featured prominently on the Web site -- more often than not the Sun's coverage has omited Dixon's party label. There has been to my knowledge just one exception, a June 25 article on which Fritze shared the byline with reporters Lynn Anderson and Doug Donovan.
Yesterday I noted how the Baltimore Sun failed to note the party affiliation of Democratic Mayor Sheila Dixon, who is under investigation for corruption.
To be fair to the Sun, I thought I'd note that Dixon's party allegiance is referenced in a June 25 story in the second paragraph:
Companies linked to a developer questioned in the state investigation of Mayor Sheila Dixon have made nearly $500,000 in political contributions in the past decade, state campaign finance records show.
The 57 limited liability corporations named in court records as having possible ties to Doracon Contracting President Ronald H. Lipscomb gave $487,000, almost entirely to Democrats, including tens of thousands to Dixon and Gov. Martin O'Malley.
Well today the reliably liberal Democrat-boosting Baltimore Sun also provided a measure of cover for Dixon by leaving out her party label in John Fritze and Doug Donovan's article, "Dixon gifts probed."
Two reporters writing 34 paragraphs found zero occasions to mention Dixon's party affiliation. In Baltimore, the mayoral office is decided in a partisan contest, complete with a separate party primary, so the party affiliation is hardly a state secret.
The word "Democrat" did crop up once in Fritze and Donovan's article, but that was to label another Maryland politician -- not from Baltimore -- also under investigation for corruption:
President Bush's effort to coax the Saudis to boost oil output was given wildly different treatments on the front pages of the Washington Post than the British broadsheet the Financial Times.
"Saudis bow to oil pressure: Kingtom to lift output to highest in two years; US lobbying comes after price nears $128" reads the May 17 front page FT headline. (The headline for the online version is slightly different: "Saudis to boost oil output after US pressure.")
Of course, the Saudis DID agree to boost daily output by 300,000 barrels. As the Post's Abramowitz noted, "[t]hat would take Saudi production to 9.4 million barrels a day" whereas the max the kingdom can pump out a day would be "11.3 million barrels."
Actor Sean Penn arrived at the Cannes Film Festival to serve as the president of the prestigious Palme d'Or jury judging the best picture. But Reuters reports from France that Penn predictably lashed out at President Bush as brainless, and even puzzled reporters by praising Barack Obama, except for his "phenomenally inhuman and unconstitutional" voting record:
Penn, who is known for his vocal political activism, also took the opportunity to lash out at U.S. President George Bush and said politics should be about helping people.
Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we're a divided country, we're a country that is "just downright mean," we are "guided by fear," we're a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents. "We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day," she said, as heads bobbed in the pews. "Folks are just jammed up, and it's gotten worse over my lifetime. And, doggone it, I'm young. Forty-four!"
Sheppard said that "Given how (the) media made excuses for her comments in Wisconsin (She said, "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." -- Ed.), it will be quite interesting to see just how much of (the) interview ..... will be reported in the next 24 hours."
Well, Noel, I looked at the next 72 hours, and the answer is, with one enjoyable exception, "precious little":
Update 14:16 | Matthew Sheffield. The level of excusing and tip-toeing around the truth about Castro is staggering. As of 2:13 ET when you do a Google News search for "Fidel Castro" you come up with 7,520 results. Add the word dictator after it and you come back with 1,417. That's 81 percent less.
Just a few headlines from major newspapers as Fidel Castro has called it quits as dictator:
Castro resigns, ending era in Cuba (LATimes.com front page)
None of those articles directly referred to Castro as a dictator. Here's how AP's Anita Snow danced around the matter of Fidel's autocracy, conceding that "detractors called him a dictator" while throwing in the favored defense leftists often throw up for Castro (emphasis mine):
The first story discusses the three Democratic candidates - Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards - and their appearances at various black churches on Sunday. Each candidate makes determined efforts to woo the African-American vote, while mentioning Dr. King.
The second story discusses the three Democratic candidates again, and how they chose to honor Dr. King today at various memorial services.
The three rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination stood together on the steps of the state capitol here on Monday in a brief display of political unity as they remembered the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
So were the Republican presidential candidates even aware of today's holiday honoring Dr. King?
Another liberal Democratic governor has backed off an illegal immigrant-friendly challenge to the new federal Real ID law. Yet in their coverage of Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D-Md.) reversal, the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post failed to note how drastic the Democratic governor's reversal was, nor to consider if low polls numbers and public disapproval were driving factors for the change of plans.
Bowing to federal pressure to crack down on undocumented immigrants, the O'Malley administration announced yesterday that in two years it would begin requiring all driver's license applicants to present a birth certificate, passport or some other documentation to prove they are legal residents of the United States.
Only the left and their lapdogs in the media can construe a story about a construction worker that was falsely accused of sexually molesting a girl in a school where he was working as a call to further restrict construction workers who are contracted to work in schools. The Baltimore Sun gives us this tale of a world upside down in a society that cannot seem any longer to understand what should be focused upon and what should not.
Apparently, some middle school girl in Perry Hall Middle School in the Baltimore, Maryland suburbs decided it was a neat idea to claim she was sexually attacked in one of the school's bathrooms by a "construction worker" who was doing his work inside the school. So, the police dutifully detained the construction worker in question and began their investigation. It turned out, however, that surveillance tapes showed that the worker in question could not have done what the girl claimed. On cross examination, the girl's story collapsed and she recanted the claims. Lastly, no physical evidence was found to substantiate the attack.
Now, what do you think nearly half the Sun's story was about? Was it about how this nasty little cuss of a girl caused so much trouble with her lies? Was it that the school apologized to the construction worker for his discomfort? How about the police? Did they apologize to the worker and demand the school address the situation? Parents? Did parents get up in arms about how this worker was so mistreated?
*Update/Correction (15:28 | January 11): Grasmick has donated to Republicans running for statewide office (OpenSecrets tracks only federal contributions), as Mark Newgent of the RedMaryland blog notes, yet all told her state and federal contributions to the GOP are quite smaller than that of those to the Democratic Party. See Newgent's item here.
The January 10 Baltimore Sun, reporting on an escalating personnel struggle in Annapolis, dutifully noted liberal Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D) charge that state school superintendent Nancy Grasmick is a "pawn" of the GOP. Grasmick has served under three governors, two Democrats (Govs. Schaefer and Glendening), and Republican Robert Ehrlich.
Yet completely missing from reporter Liz Bowie's article was any mention of Grasmick's historic political ties to Democrats. Indeed, 30 seconds in an online would yield campaign contribution data showing Grasmick has only given money to Democrats.
According to OpenSecrets.org, in the past seven years Grasmick has given money to incumbent Democratic congressmen or congressional candidates such as Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersburger, and John Sarbanes. Grasmick also gave $500 to the state Democratic Party in 1999, the first year of liberal Gov. Glendening's second term. Not once during her tenure was a contribution to a Republican* listed.
When Larry Summers suggested in early 2005 that, as paraphrased by Slate's William Saletan, "innate differences between the sexes might help explain why relatively few women become professional scientists or engineers," the outcry was immediate, furious, and went to saturation level virtually overnight. The controversy ultimately led to his resignation a year later as Harvard President.
On Wednesday, Mr. Summers, a Democrat who was once Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton, made a recommendation in his area of expertise -- that is, that a tax cut would be a good idea to protect against a possible recession. (Yours truly doesn't believe that a recession is anywhere near occurring. But hey, I've said since May, and several times since [here, here, and here, among others] that a tax cut is needed anyway to keep the economy chugging along at a good rate. So if panicked pols want to enact a tax cut for the wrong reason, I'll take it.)
Old Media reaction to Summers has been virtual silence.
Baltimore Sun reporter Arin Gencer gave readers of the December 5 paper a slanted treatment of a move by a Taneytown, Md., city councilman who wants to clarify that his city is not a so-called "sanctuary city" where illegal immigrants can count on local officials actively failing to report immigration violations to the proper federal authorities.
Gencer pitted resolution proponent Paul Chamberlain Jr. against Taneytown's Mayor Jim McCarron, who dismissed the resolution as "mean-spirited" and "a slap in the face to anybody that has ancestors who were immigrants, or is currently an immigrant."
The Sun reporter failed to allow Chamberlain to rebut that allegation, although he quickly moved on to a pundit who dismissed resolutions like Chamberlain's as political posturing, and later to an official from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which Gencer simply tagged a "Latino civil rights and advocacy organization."
Veteran Maryland political commentator, radio show host and White House correspondent Les Kinsolving often calls Maryland "The Land of Political Enchantment," and indeed the Old Line State never fails to enchant natives and outsiders alike with its bizarre --William Donald Schaefer comes to mind-- and often corrupt politicos.
Yet although the state is famously blue-hued with an overwhelmingly Democratic General Assembly, you can count on the media to ignore the party affiliation of Democratic state legislators who run afoul of the law.
Such was the case with the Associated Press today ignoring former state senator Thomas Bromwell's Democratic Party affiliation. AP follows the Washington Post's lead (see my July 24 article) in ignoring Bromwell's party connections.
Every time the media feature an ostensibly Average Joe to further a liberal Democratic talking point, my curiosity is piqued as to how that person was singled out by a news agency to flesh out the human dimension of a policy argument. Many times it turns out the poster child/family in question is delivered to the media on a silver platter courtesy of a professional liberal activist.
The Frost family of Baltimore seems to be no exception, as Lisa Rein of the Washington Post noted in passing deep in her October 23 article on Bonnie Frost's pro-socialized health care activism.:
"Bonnie's a symbol of the true depth of the health-care crisis in Maryland," said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, which is sponsoring the new radio ad. "Luckily, CHIP is there for their kids, but there's nothing for them."
David Herszenhorn's front-page "Political Memo" for Wednesday's New York Times was devoted to the fight over Graeme Frost, the boy pushed forward by the Democrats to deliver the response to Bush's weekly radio address on the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP).
The inimitable Mark Steyn is one of several conservative writers unhappy with Democrats "desperate enough to send a boy to do a man's job."
Herszenhorn accused Republicans and "conservative bloggers" of attacking the boy and his family. While not as bad as the local coverage in the Baltimore Sun as outlined earlier by Ken Shepherd, there is a hostile tone:
On September 29, 2007, Baltimore 12-year old Graeme Frost became the Democratic poster child, literally, for SCHIP. Frost read the Democratic Party's official response to the president's weekly radio address, attacking President Bush for his veto of a Democratic-sponsored bill to balloon federal spending on the 10-year old program.
The Baltimore Sun ran a story that morning noting young Graeme Frost's brush with political football history, and two days earlier ran a gauzy profile on Graeme's mom and dad and their push for the Democratic SCHIP expansion here. But now that conservative bloggers have been raising questions about the portrayal by Democrats and the Baltimore Sun of the family's financial plight, the Sun is hitting back by attacking conservatives bloggers as heartless and obsessive, Michelle Malkin noted on her blog.