No general should criticize his or her commander, and Gen. Stanley McChrystal is no exception. But the mainstream media is primarily concerned with the political fallout of McChrystal's apparent insubordination as revealed by a piece in Rolling Stone. They are not concerned with whether his critiques are accurate, in stark contrast to other military officers' critiques of war policy under the Bush administration.
During Bush's tenure, active duty generals that spoke out against administration policy were portrayed as courageous whistleblowers. Retired generals were treated as ever-wise sages of military policy. None were scrutinized as McChrystal, pictured right, has been in the hours since Rolling Stone released its article.
The most prominent active duty general to earn the media's affection was Gen. Eric Shinseki, current Secretary of Veterans Affairs (to the media's delight). He insisted in 2003 that, contrary to Defense Department policy as iterated by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the United States would need to send "hundreds of thousands" of troops to Iraq during the initial invasion. The media ate it up.
“8: The Mormon Proposition,” is a documentary detailing the large role the Mormon Church played in passing California’s Proposition 8 in 2008.That ballot initiative added an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. While the media has naturally been praising the documentary, the movie is so biased that even some reviewers couldn’t avoid pointing out how one-sided it is.
Directed by Reed Cowan, the film first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. “8: The Mormon Proposition” is narrated by Lance Dustin, who was the screenwriter for “Milk,” the movie about California’s first openly gay elected official.
The trailer features protestors, people upset about the passage of Proposition 8, and paints the Mormon Church negatively for influencing the outcome of Proposition 8.
That must have been the reaction yesterday of many liberal Boston Globe readers when they read what must have been to them some very painful truths in a Joan Vennochi column about denial of reality by government officials over who was behind the Times Square bomb plot. Vennochi could have also been writing about many in the mainstream media such as MSNBC's Contessa Brewer who were hoping it was a Tea Party member behind the plot:
AMERICANS CAN handle the truth. But when it comes to terrorist acts on American soil, government officials are reluctant to give it to us straight from the start.
Instant analysis of the Times Square bomb scare kicked off with the usual official disclaimers: Don’t presume a Muslim extremist had anything to do with it.
It was likely a “lone wolf’’ operation, suggested Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, or, as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speculated, “somebody with a political agenda who doesn’t like the health care bill or something.’’ Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, said it was being treated as a “potential terrorist attack’’ but it could be a “one-off’’ or isolated incident.
Update: The well-publicized announcement that Editor & Publisher was going to "cease operations" last December and that was stated as a given in the original version of this post was apparently premature, as it's still there on the web. E&P is also covering the circulation news (daily; Sunday; HT to a BizzyBlog commenter).
Advertising Age (AA) had the unenviable task (given that it's supposed to stay on its vendors' and customers' good sides) of figuring out a way to cast yet another dreadful newspaper circulation report in a non-negative light. The educated guess here is that most newspaper execs are not going to be wearing the button pictured at the top right very frequently during the foreseeable future.
Here are the figures cited by AA as overall newspaper circulation declines during the past five six-month ABC reporting periods (percentages represent declines from the same six-month period of the previous year) --
March 31, 2010: - 8.7% daily, -6.5% Sunday September 30, 2009: -10.6% daily, -7.5% Sunday March 31, 2009: - 7.1% daily, -5.4% Sunday September 30, 2008: -4.6% daily, -4.9% Sunday March 31, 2008: - 3.6% daily, -4.6% Sunday
Given the results, here is AA's headline, sub-headline, and "hey, it's not really that bad" first sentence:
HBO is airing a movie, “You Don’t Know Jack,” about the life of Dr. Jack Kevorkian (aka: “Dr. Death”), who enabled the suicides of more than100 terminally-ill people. But the movie is so one-sided that even many mainstream media reviewers couldn’t help but point it out. USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe all noted how the movie favored assisted suicides.
USA Today’s Robert Bianco complained, “But on the crucial social issue itself – a person's right to die and a doctor's obligation to assist – the film falls squarely and unfailingly on Kevorkian's side.”
According to Bianco, “Everyone who stands against him is either an idiot, a bigot, or a politically motivated hack.” He cautioned, “Take that as a dual warning: You don’t get balance, and that one-sided approach can’t quite support the film’s overextended, two-hour-plus length.”
Some reporters come to Tea Party rallies not so much to cover them as expose them as hypocritical. On Thursday, Boston Globe reporter David Abel began his story on protests starring Sarah Palin in Boston by highlighting the Shirk family, with ten home-schooled kids – and Medicaid health coverage.
For the Shirks, it was a day for their children to seek inspiration from Palin and the other speakers, who questioned Obama’s patriotism and at least one of whom referred to him repeatedly as Barack Hussein.
The couple, who rely on Medicaid for their health care, were also upset about the nation’s new health reforms.
When asked why her family used state-subsidized health care when she criticized people who take handouts, Valerie Shirk said she did not want to stop having children, and that her husband’s income was not enough to cover the family with private insurance.
The Boston Globe is a proudly liberal newspaper. So it’s a little stunning for their staff writers Christopher Muther and Hayley Kaufman to suggest that tax refunds are best spent on conspicuous consumption. They suggested “you may want to put any windfall toward your credit card bill,” but they didn’t suggest liberal Globe readers redistribute their refund income to the poor in the inner cities, in Appalachia, or in earthquake-stricken Haiti. They suggested people drop a grand on looking “like a demi-goddess” in thousand-dollar shoes.
Muther and Kaufman began: “It's not exactly found money, but the tax refund that may eventually surface in your mailbox gives you a prime opportunity to indulge in those long-delayed purchases, such as the pair of shoes that have been whispering your name, or the fragrance that has been winking at you from across the cosmetics counter.” Many items on their list were under $100, but then there were these:
Clash of the Titans'' has nothing on these. Look like a demi-goddess in the Quartz Patent Leather gladiator bootie, from Jimmy Choo, $995.
Now that spring is here, you'll need chic specs for your al fresco adventures. These will have you looking like a star. Develay sunglasses in emberwood, from Paul Smith, $255.
Upon further research and examination into the Army's complete findings on the Fort Hood shootings, in a February 22 report, the Boston Globe's Bryan Bender conceded that politically-incorrect conservatives were right all along - just not in those words of course.
Immediately after Major Nidal Malik Hasan murdered 13 U.S. soldiers November 5, major news networks and publication bent over backwards to omit Hasan's Islamic identity or to excuse the killing of 13 soldiers as a result of stress or psychosis.
Report after report, interview after interview, and press conference after press conference, reporters, politicians, and government officials warned against jumping to conclusions - in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
In a contribution to the Boston Globe Magazine published nine days before the January 19 Senate election won by Republican Scott Brown, veteran Globe Magazine writer Charles Pierce ridiculed the idea Brown could win, in a piece formulated as a letter to Brown:
Well, we’re almost here, aren’t we? The end of a long, arduous, four-month campaign for a Senate seat that you have approximately the same chance of filling as you did the pilot’s chair of the Starship Enterprise.
The cocky Pierce wasn’t done, writing in his weekly “Pierced” column toward the front of the January 10 magazine:
The notion that Massachusetts would elect a Republican to fill the seat left vacant by Edward Kennedy was the property of people who buy interesting mushrooms in interesting places. You might as well expect the House of Windsor to be succeeded on the British throne by the Kardashian sisters.
Some in the liberal media continue to insist that James O'Keefe and his three cohorts were trying to "bug" or "tap" Sen. Mary Landrieu's phone lines when law enforcement officials have clearly said that they were not. Since the left doesn't like O'Keefe, the liberal media seems to think standard practices of journalistic integrity don't apply here.
According to MSNBC, one law enforcement official, who was not named, said "the four men arrested for attempting to tamper with the phones in the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) were not trying to intercept or wiretap the calls." This statement comports with the affidavit filed in court after O'Keefe and company were arrested, which did not mention wiretapping or bugging, and only referred to the "tampering" of phone lines (h/t Patterico).
But the Boston Globe parroted this false accusation this morning in a gossip blog post about one of the alleged perpetrators, Joe Basel. The Globe--the same Globe that complained about ACORN's "trial-by-video"--called him a "political dirty trickster who was busted in a Watergate-style bugging operation earlier this week," and said again a couple paragraphs later that Basel was "bagged by the feds allegedly trying to bug the phones" in Landrieu's office. At least the Globe writers said "allegedly" the second time.
Democrats now routinely say Martha Coakley was a bad candidate who took too much for granted in Massachusetts, even taking a vacation after winning the nomination for Ted Kennedy’s place in the Senate. But would they say the bad candidate was also failed by bad reporters who took too much for granted? On Monday, Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz found a bigwig at the Boston Globe who arrogantly dismissed the race and took a vacation. He wasn’t even apologetic about the arrogance:
Frank Phillips, the Globe's statehouse bureau chief, says he missed the last few days of the campaign by taking a personal trip with his wife that he finalized a couple of weeks earlier. "I made a decision at Christmas that this was not going to be an important race, others could handle it, I could be out of town," Phillips says.
But he says Brown was going nowhere earlier in the campaign: "What would you have written? 'Things were heating up'? Things weren't heating up. It would be unfair to say we had missed it, because it wasn't there."
I heard Rush reading from a newspaper column during his first hour, but missed the first couple of paragraphs. So I didn't know its origin. Given what I was hearing, I thought that El Rushbo was surely reading the latest from Maureen Dowd at the New York Times.
Nope. It turns out that it was written by the Boston Globe's Brian McGrory (pictured at right; original is at this link). McGrory wants to tell us that the Bay Staters who voted for Scott Brown over Martha Coakley did so because of the self-importance thrust on them by the national media spotlight and not out of any real conviction.
But his bawdy treatment distracts from his intent, as you will see in the excerpts that follow, which in this case are no substitute for reading -- or actually enduring -- the whole thing:
Seduced by our new senator
I’m going to need some Advil and a cold compress, please. I’m the Massachusetts Electorate, and I have what is bar none the absolute worst hangover of my entire voting life.
Boston Globe writer Lisa Wangsness can't be blamed too much for assuming that appointed senator Paul Kirk's term ends when the winner of tomorrow's election in Massachusetts, Scott Brown (photo) or Martha Coakley, is seated. Wrong. Mass. law is very specific on that term limit as Fred Barnes has noted in the Weekly Standard. The reason why Wangsness can be forgiven for her error is that it is the same assumption made by most of the rest of the mainstream media. Here is the relevant section of her article about the effect of tomorrow's election on the health care bill:
Another possibility would be for Democrats to hurry and pass a compromise bill before Brown were seated.
It is not clear how much time Democrats would have in that case. Before the new Massachusetts senator takes office, Secretary of State William F. Galvin must certify the vote, and town clerks have to wait 10 days after the election to allow time for the ballots of military members serving overseas to arrive, then they have another five days to deliver the final results to Galvin, according to state election law. After that, the new senator can be sworn in.
If you bother to read Joanna Weiss' column in today's Boston Globe, expect to get a sense of déjà . . . lu. Like untold polemics that have preceded it, "Hollywood’s burden on aging women" stamps its feet over the unequal treatment of aging in men and women.
You know: male stars are allowed to age gracefully, but women must struggle ever-harder to conform to a youthful stereotype of sex-appeal. Unfair!
The feminist response is to blame the culture, in this case embodied by Hollywood, for promoting shallow, sexist values. But the fault, dear Joanna, is not in our stars but in ourselves, or more precisely, our DNA.
It seems that the flat out health care flip-flop performed recently by Massachusetts Democrat candidate for the U.S. Senate, Martha Coakley, was too hypocritically self serving for even the very liberal Boston Globe to spin in a way to make her look good. Either it was that or the fact that that they aren't worried about how such a story would affect Coakley's chances in the special election on January 19 since it is widely assumed that a win in the Democrat primary leads automatically to a coronation in the general election in that liberal state. Whatever the case, Boston Globe writer Lisa Wangsness shines a light on Coakley's blatant political hypocrisy:
State Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democratic nominee for US Senate, reluctantly threw her support yesterday behind the Senate health care bill, even though it contains restrictions on abortion coverage that abortion rights groups are calling unacceptable.
During the primary campaign, Coakley said she would not have supported the House health care bill because of provisions designed to prevent federal funding of abortions that abortion rights advocates said went too far. Her stand was a major point of debate during the campaign; several of her opponents criticized her for being willing to sink the health care bill over a single issue, but she insisted that there were some things on which she would not compromise.
You have just chosen the person last night who will succeed the late Ted Kennedy in his Senate seat. The Boston Globe's Derrick Z. Jackson declared the winner a week ago on December 3 in this story, Coakley gets the keys to the Senate:
MARTHA COAKLEY will be the state’s next US senator. Michael Capuano handed her the keys to the late Ted Kennedy’s office by getting caught up in one last dumb shouting match with the sure loser in the race, Stephen Pagliuca. One can only imagine the smile inside Coakley’s head as Capuano and Pagliuca descended into a banter so banal that Pagliuca tried to nail Capuano as the Sarah Palin of the Democratic Party.
There is only one "little" problem with this story; the winner of the Senate seat from Massachusetts doesn't actually get chosen until January 19. What Martha Coakley won last night was the right to run in that general election as the Democrat nominee. However, that hasn't stopped the Boston Globe's Jackson from declaring her the winner of that Senate seat.
The Boston Globe predictably editorialized on Wednesday against Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin for "targeting" Rep. Patrick Kennedy ("Rhode Island bishop errs in targeting Patrick Kennedy.") They predictably cavil that bishops don’t punish politicians who support the death penalty and wars.
What sets this leaden chunk of argument apart is its boast the bishop's attention is "ironic" since the Kennedy family have long been a flock of terrific, devout Catholics that drew others into the church. They have been virtual magnets of holiness. Yes, you may pick up your jaw now:
Among Catholic politicians, Patrick Kennedy is both an obvious target, because of his prominence, and a deeply ironic one, because of the decades of loyalty and support the Kennedy family has given to the Catholic Church. Though they may not always have lived strictly by church teachings, Patrick’s father, uncles, aunts, and grandmother were all devout Catholics whose intensive commitment to worship drew others into the church. The Kennedys accorded priests and bishops an honored position in their lives. Edward Kennedy’s dying appeal to the pope proves that the church was never far from the late senator’s mind.
To say that there's good reason not to be impressed with a quite a few U.S. Senators is to state the obvious.
But I really hope that Dana Milbank either hasn't read or really doesn't remember A Streetcar Named Desire. Because in his coverage of the Senate vote last night to go forward to debate on its health care bill, the alleged journalist stooped well below the level of most of the blogosphere by in essence calling the United States Senate the House of 100 Prostitutes -- and worse.
Yes he did -- in a column the Post put on the top of the front page.
After observing the opportunistic, advantage-taking machinations of Democratic Senators Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas in return for the final two "yes" votes needed for passage, Milbank wrote the following:
In a bleary-eyed opinion article in the Sunday Boston Globe (11/8/09), Harvard divinity professor Harvey Cox denounces religious "fundamentalism." In doing so, he places mass-murdering Muslims from the Middle East on the same playing field as conservative Christians from the United States. From Cox's article:
As the 20th century ended and a new one began, fundamentalism has taken on more formidable shapes, both politically and religiously. Though most of its adherents work through spiritual and educational channels, the small minority that turn to violence have caught the media’s attention. If some seem ready to die for faith, others are ready to kill for it, gunning down abortion doctors in church, hijacking planes, and exploding bombs at weddings. For plenty of thoughtful people, fundamentalism has come to represent the most dangerous threat to open societies since the fall of communism.
The latest newspaper circulation numbers, measuring copies sold from April through September of this year, show a 10.6 percent decline in daily newspaper sales, the first double-digit drop in circulation ever. Newspaper readership is now at its lowest level since before World War II.
The biggest losers during this six-month period, as reported by NewsBusters's Tom Blumer, were the San Francisco Chronicle (down 25.8 percent daily), the Newark Star-Ledger (down 22.2 percent daily), and the Boston Globe (down 18.5 percent daily).
The New York Times's sales during the period fell to 927,861, the first time the paper sold less than 1 million copies in that time span in decades. The Wall Street Journal saw a 0.6 percent increase in circulation, making it the most purchased newspaper in the country. The Journal surpassed USA Today, whose circulation declined by over 17 percent.
It's a variation on the old riddle, "What's black and white, but read all over?"
If you change one word and add two others, the answer to the resulting question -- "What's still mostly black and white, but red all over?" -- would be, based on just-released information about their daily circulation, "all but one of the nation's top 25 newspapers turning in comparative numbers."
Here are a few paragraphs from Michael Liedtke's coverage of the carnage at the Associated Press, which depends largely on newspaper subscription fees for its lifeblood. Note the "so far" reference in Liedtke's third paragraph:
President Obama was at Democratic Party fundraising events for incumbent Democratic Governor Deval Patrick in Massachusetts Friday night.
The Boston Herald's Hillary Chabot described the attendance at one of the events (HT Jules Crittenden, who is a Herald editor, via Instapundit) as "barely half-full with 125 deep-pocketed Democrats" in the second paragraph of her report ("President Obama: ‘Tough race’ ahead for Gov. Deval Patrick").
Meanwhile, at the Boston Globe ("Obama blows in, talks up Patrick and future"), staff reporter Matt Viser saved an observation that "the events appeared to not be fully booked" for the end of his fifth paragraph. The "events" were "a reception and a larger ballroom gathering." Somehow, if Fenway Park had 20,000 - 25,000 on hand for a Red Sox game (Fenway's capacity is 37,400, and every Red Sox game has been sold out for over six years), I doubt that Globe sports reporter Bob Ryan would describe it as "not fully attended."
Here are the first several paragraphs from each report. First, from the Herald:
In an October 16, 2009, article in the Boston Globe, staffer Andrea Estes makes the eye-opening assertion that the economy in Massachusetts is "generally improving." Facts and reality suggest otherwise. Consider:
"[L]ocal aid to cities and towns [is] already down more than $700 million from the level originally approved in the fiscal 2009 budget, which began in July 2008."
"[T]ax revenues for the first quarter of the fiscal year came in $212 million lower than expected."
Estes' article begins, "As many as 2,000 state jobs could be eliminated, Governor Deval Patrick warned yesterday, unless unions agree to concessions necessary to help close an estimated $600 million budget shortfall that could trigger spending cuts throughout state government."
I suppose President Obama is still running around telling everyone who will listen, along with anyone else who won't, that "If you like your doctors and medical providers, you can keep them."
It would also not surprise me to learn that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is still singing the praises of CommonwealthCare, the state-run system conservatives also deride as RomneyCare, so named after Mitt Romney, Patrick's allegedly Republican predecessor who brought it into being. Patrick even wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed column several weeks ago that called CommonwealthCare a "model for national reform."
As an apparently pivotal Senate committee vote on imposing statist health care on the entire country looms, the Boston Globe's Liz Kowalczyk has inconveniently reminded statists (HT Hot Air) that the alleged wonders of the Bay State's care regimen are instead leading it inexorably into serious rationing, and to a direct contradiction of Obama's and Patrick's core claims. Currently on the horizon are serious limitations on choice of care providers and annual capitated payments to those providers. Kowalczyk would probably protest that she never uses the word "rationing," but it really doesn't matter. Anyone with even a modicum of sense will recognize these moves for what they are.
The Globe's subheadline at the story's web page is revealing:
US funds dry up for Iran rights watchdog Obama White House less confrontational
.... But just as the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center was ramping up to investigate abuses of protesters after this summer’s disputed presidential election, the group received word that - for the first time since it was formed - its federal funding request had been denied.
“If there is one time that I expected to get funding, this was it," said Rene Redman, the group’s executive director, who had asked for $2.7 million in funding for the next two years. "I was surprised, because the world was watching human rights violations right there on television."
Many see the sudden, unexplained cutoff of funding as a shift by the Obama administration away from high-profile democracy promotion in Iran ....
When it comes to the awful abuse of children, it sure seems like the Boston Globe doesn't get too worked up unless the words Cardinal, bishop, or priest is in someone's job title.
Over seven years ago, beginning on January 6, 2002, the Boston Globe initiated a relentless, no-stone-unturned investigation into terrible abuse in the Catholic Church. By the time the calendar year 2002 ended, the Globe had published a mind-blowing 989 articles. (That's not a typo. Yes, the paper ran an average of over two-and-a-half articles a day on the scandal in a single year. See for yourself.) And the Globe still takes joy in hammering the Church, even if it means reporting clergy abuse in Ireland.
Is it possible for a sitting president to ignore a war his own country is waging?
According to the Boston Globe, it depends on who that president is.
The war in Afghanistan has presented a rare look at two different presidents faced with the same situation in the same theatre.
Following initial Allied success, 2003 saw the Taliban regroup for a long-term fight, and by late 2007 Bush had begun to draw up plans for a troop surge. Two years later, generals on the ground say our presence is still not enough.
Now, with President Obama in charge, those in the mainstream media portray his leadership in a starkly different light than that of former President Bush.
The Boston Globe is a prime example of the double standard (continued).
The perils of punditry: On Monday, CNBC chief Washington correspondent and New York Times political writer John Harwood predicted that the Massachusetts legislature would not pass a law enabling Democratic Governor Deval Patrick to pick a temporary successor to the late Senator Ted Kennedy. “I don’t think so. Doesn’t look like it,” Harwood announced on CNBC’s Squawk Box.
The very next day, the Massachusetts Senate passed the bill that would partially reverse the law Democrats passed in 2004 to prevent a Republican governor from naming a Senate replacement if Senator John Kerry had been elected president. The bill reached Governor Patrick yesterday, and today, Patrick announced the selection of former Democratic National Chairman Paul Kirk to become Senator until the state’s voters pick a permanent replacement in January.
Major newspapers and networks have been ignoring the question of abortion coverage in the new health care bill sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. The only newspapers to even mention abortion coverage since the bill was released on September 16 were The Boston Globe, The Oregonian, and The Orlando Sentinel - all of which were editorials.
The Boston Globe only mentioned in passing that the funding of abortion was scratched in order to please the Republicans, who refuse to be pleased anyway. The Oregonian admitted that abortion was funded in the bill but concluded that "being a citizen means paying taxes, and being one of hundreds of millions of citizens means that some tax revenues will fund something you don't like." And The Orlando Sentinel stated that the "truth" behind Republicans "right-wing anti-Obama rhetoric" against abortion is simply "cowardly coded smoke screens intended to mask fear and racism."