There may be no limit to how far establishment media reporters will go in their attempt to prop up the public perception of failing state-run health care programs.
The latest example comes from Massachusetts. The Bay State's CommonwealthCare (aka RomneyCare, so nicknamed because Governor Mitt Romney, rumored to be a Republican and pictured at right, championed the legislation's passage and signed the bill in 2006) continues to implode -- as anyone with a brain could have predicted, and as many, including yours truly (fourth item at link), did predict.
Despite deep cuts, which essentially amount to large-scale rationing of care and cash-starving of providers, the Boston Globe's Kay Lazar, in an allegedly straight news story, felt compelled to describe the state's health care arrangement as "trailblazing," and to characterize a 12% budget cut as "trimming."
Here are key paragraphs from what amounts to Lazar's lament, with "rationing" tags added by yours truly for emphasis:
The day pain died What really happened during the most famous moment in Boston medicine
The date of the first operation under anesthetic, Oct. 16, 1846, ranks among the most iconic in the history of medicine. It was the moment when Boston, and indeed the United States, first emerged as a world-class center of medical innovation. The room at the heart of Massachusetts General Hospital where the operation took place has been known ever since as the Ether Dome, and the word "anesthesia" itself was coined by the Boston physician and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes to denote the strange new state of suspended consciousness that the city's physicians had witnessed. The news from Boston swept around the world, and it was recognized within weeks as a moment that had changed medicine forever.
Wow. Pretty bracing stuff, except for one thing: A commenter named "introp" told the Globe (currently the fourth comment down) that they're wrong about Morton being first.
Some of us have speculated that many newsrooms in America are so hell-bent on maintaining their supposedly hallowed positions -- and that by their way of "thinking" they are exempt from the normal laws of economics -- that they will have be dragged kicking and screaming from their keyboards when the repo men come around to turn out the lights. This week's events at the Boston Globe give validity to that theory.
Let's take it on faith that the Globe, the onetime New England jewel of the New York Times, really has been losing money at the rate of $1 million a week, that the Times really does need to seriously cut costs, and that all of the Globe's unions have to make concessions if the paper is to either survive within the Times, or as rumored, be salable to whatever outside entity might be brave enough to take it off the Old Gray Lady's hands.
Six of the Globe's seven(!) unions have agreed to accept concessions. They include "drivers, mailers, pressmen, electricians, machinists and technical-services workers."
Since when is the media so interested in keeping America abreast of the latest news coming out of Ireland? A commission in Ireland just released a report detailing awful abuse of children who attended Catholic schools "from the 1930's to the 1990's, when the last of the institutions closed." And what's ensued is practically an all-out media frenzy.
The AP, Reuters, the New York Times, the LA Times, Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and many others are all over the story. At Google news, the story returns "about 1,531" results.
Yes, the stories of abuse are quite troubling, but it sure seems that the media is singling out the Catholic Church's misdeeds - again.
Today - not decades ago - there is egregious abuse happening with far-greater occurrence in our nation's schools. Yet where's the coverage?
Imagine that former Vice President Dick Cheney was set to be honored next month at a Catholic university's commencement ceremony and news came down that another person to be honored at the same ceremony with a different award declined the honor, stating that she felt it inappropriate for the university to honor a man who believes in and furthered the use of torture by condoning waterboarding of enemy combatants.
The press, it's safe to say, would have a field day. But that's not the case with the news of Mary Ann Glendon -- a pro-life Catholic and Harvard professor who is displeased with Notre Dame honoring pro-choice President Barack Obama -- declining to accept the Laetare Award from Notre Dame University.
Yesterday evening NewsBusters Editor-at-Large Brent Baker noted that only NBC's "Nightly News" touched on the story, and that only briefly. This morning, not even NBC's "Today" show mentioned the development in the ongoing commencement speech controversy. Broadcast TV competitors "Good Morning America" and CBS's "The Early Show" ignored the story as well.
The Audit Bureau of Circulations released this morning the spring figures for the six months ending March 31, 2009, showing that the largest metros continue to shed daily and Sunday circulation -- now at a record rate.
According to ABC, for 395 newspapers reporting this spring, daily circulation fell 7% to 34,439,713 copies, compared with the same March period in 2008. On Sunday, for 557 newspapers, circulation was down 5.3% to 42,082,707. These averages do not include 84 newspapers with circulations below 50,000 due to a change in publishing frequency.
Below is a chart showing the specifics for the top 25, including percentage losses for the past four years and during the past year (current year source: Editor & Publisher):
Unlike recent Presidents, Canellos contended in his weekly “National Perspectives” column in the Globe's news pages, “Obama, so far, seems to occupy a place in the popular culture beyond humor. Ridicule doesn't touch him. His personality defies easy categorization.” Even the “few running gags to emerge from the Obama administration -- aides not paying their taxes, Treasury officials rewarding fat-cats” -- rebounds to Obama's benefit, Canellos argued, as he effused: “The only one that pertains to the President himself is the straight-faced devotion he inspires. Obama may not actually be perfect, but so many poor souls out there think he is.”
“Demonstrating that not even weekends are safe from Democratic Party-sponsored anti-Rush Limbaugh attacks,” Brian Maloney observed on the Radio Equalizer blog on Saturday, “the talk titan is now under fire for a relatively mundane (and actually quite accurate) reference to the shameless political exploitation of Ted Kennedy's illness.”
Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe started off her column on March 6 with the exact same feeling about the current Obama/Limbaugh feud that I at first had: I wasn't going to talk about it either. But after reading her column of distortions and outright lies about Limbaugh -- as well as the ever present fat jokes and general incivility -- I couldn't resist analyzing her column. It is, as it occurs, the perfect example of the calumny that lefty writers and media figures heap on the radio talker. It also reveals their low born style of discourse and their general state of apoplexy at Limbaugh, if not the general level of insanity he instills in them.
Proving the direction she intended to take right off the top Goodman starts with a fat joke. She says she caught Limbaugh's CPAC speech as she was on a flight. Goodman quips that he "filled -- and I do mean filled -- the screen" before her. Yes, one can sense the high caliber of analysis about to assault the eye when reading this first paragraph. Goodman is obviously an intellectual giant.
Patriotism is cool again. Some would say patriotism, defined as "love of one's country," never goes out of style. But to the Left, it's clearly not an unconditional love. Narcissistic liberals demand a country in their own image.
Still, it's good to see so many of the nation's cultural and entertainment elite waving the flag. Hollywood producer and People for the American Way founder Norman Lear is a perfect example. Lear is so moved by the spirit of patriotism these days that he created a campaign focused on being a "Born Again American."
Unfortunately, liberals like Lear are so out of practice with patriotism that they seem to have adopted it as a surrogate spirituality, or confused it with a very un-American cult of personality.
The most important thing to keep in mind while reading this Boston Globe article, is that it would never have been written six months ago. Why? Because at that time the "evil" Republicans controlled the White House and unemployment would have been portrayed as grim. However, now that Barack Obama is in the Oval office, rising unemployment is being presented almost lovingly as you can see in the very title of the article written by Jenn Abelson, "For now, laid off and loving it":
A few days after David Adler's wife decided to leave her law firm in December, he was laid off from his job designing software at Brightcove.
It was shocking. And scary.
Until it wasn't. Adler has quickly learned to appreciate some aspects of his unexpected unemployment.
The 42-year-old spends his days doting on his 6-month-old daughter, visiting museums with his family, and preparing for a possible exhibit of his photos at a local coffee shop in Dedham. Living off savings, unemployment, and severance packages, Adler knows he has to get a job eventually and has started the search. But for now, he's cherishing every moment. "It's our first child and I love watching her grow," Adler said. "And it's nice to have time off and get in touch with my old hobbies."
Virtually all the predictions about the death of old media have assumed a comfortingly long time frame for the end of print . . . But what if the old media dies much more quickly? What if a hurricane comes along and obliterates the dunes entirely? Specifically, what if The New York Times goes out of business—like, this May? It’s certainly plausible. -- End Times, by Michael Hirschorn, The Atlantic, January/February 2009 [emphasis added]
The prospect of the disappearance of the New York Times within a matter of months will bring wildly varying reactions in different quarters. Those gleefully anticipating its demise should know that Hirschorn goes on to conclude that the odds of the paper going away in May are "relatively slim." He anticipates a number of scenarios that would permit the paper to survive, including:
sale of its share of its $600 million HQ, designed by the prestigious Renzo Piano
sale of its ownership interest in the Boston Globe and/or other subsidiaries including About.com and the Boston Red Sox.
sale of the paper outright to potential buyers such as David Geffen, Michael Bloomberg, Carlos Slim or even . . . Rupert Murdoch.
Still, Hirschorn doesn't entirely discount the possibility that the Times could actually go bye-bye. As he observes [emphasis added]:
President-elect Obama came to the national stage with a quip like, "There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America. There's the United States of America."
It is too bad his supporters in the media did not believe him. Obama has not even been sworn in yet, and the mainstream media is already finding divisive ways to fan the flames of racial politics.
Michael Kranish uses some unusual comparisons pertaining to American slavery and the inauguration of Obama in a December 28th Boston Globe piece located in the news section.
Kranish begins by pointing out Obama will be sworn in on grounds that slave labor built. He reminds readers Obama will stand before a crowd where blacks were previously sold as human property(my emphasis throughout):
Taking adulation of Barack Obama on a looney left trip through idolization of Mikhail Gorbachev (Obamagasm + Gorbasm = Obamagorbabasm?), far-left Boston Globe columnist James Carroll dreamed that Obama will fulfill Gorbachev's 1988 pledge to achieve “the demilitarization of international relations” and change the world “from an economy of armament to an economy of disarmament.” In his Monday column, “Gorbachev's model for Obama,” Carroll, who fully credited Gorbachev with the fall of the Berlin Wall and dismantling of the Soviet Union, trumpeted Obama's opportunity: “By the grace of God, it is not too late to match the greatness with which Gorbachev acted 20 years ago, an overdue acceptance of his historic invitation.”
Fretting about America's “refusal to dismantle its Cold War military economy,” Carroll yearned for “yes we can” responses: “Is it too much to expect Barack Obama to change history? Make peace? Transform an economic system? Rescue the Earth? Build a political program around the truth? Restore a great nation's decency?” Justifying his faith in Obama, Carroll recalled: “On the cusp of this decisive year, it will do Americans well to recall that just such a transformation took place once before, even if we declined to respond with transformation of our own.”
(Just below Carroll's column, in the newspaper owned by the New York Times, readers were treated to an op-ed piece that carried a Tripoli dateline and the byline of “the leader of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” -- yes, that would be Muammar Gaddafi -- titled “Provoking Russia” and which began: “Once again, the West's policy toward Russia and its addiction to interfering in the affairs of other countries is having dangerous effects on the rest of the world.”)
Is the Massachusetts attempt at universal health insurance "centrist"? That's how the Boston Globe described it December 19. Citing its "national appeal," the article noted support from Sen. Ted Kennedy, who is expected to lead the Senate effort on health reform.
"To those who say these challenges can't be met, I say, 'Look at Massachusetts,'" he said in a statement.
If you needed any more proof climate alarmists are an extraordinarily deluded bunch that will do anything to protect their dogma, you got it Saturday when a 56-page report on military strategy incited ire because it included two paragraphs on global warming that don't perfectly fit Nobel Laureate Al Gore's agenda.
In fact, all the brouhaha was largely about one sentence: "In many respects, scientific conclusions about the causes and potential effects of global warming are contradictory."
Seems innocent enough, don't you think?
Well, not according to the Boston Globe's Bryan Bender, or any of the folks he chose to question about it:
At this time of year, columns like Derrick Z. Jackson's of today condemning the materialism of the Christmas shopping season are as traditional as Budweiser's Clydesdale-drawn sleigh commercial. And part of me is sympathetic with Jackson's call for people to spurn the malls and curtail their gift-giving budgets.
But this of all years, did the Boston Globe columnist consider the disastrous consequences for the economy and the lives of millions of Americans if people were actually to heed his advice? Apparently not. Jackson's radical suggestion [emphasis added]:
I have a suggestion for these holidays. The average American, according to the government, consumes six times more energy than the world average. Take whatever you spent on gifts last year, slash 5/6ths of it, and see what you can do with the rest - unless of course you make a charitable donation. You're broke anyway, right, so what's the harm?
For years, little would upset liberals more than the suggestion they were less patriotic than other Americans. The crowd spewing "Bush-Hitler-Genghis-Khan-baby-killers-AmeriKKKa-Ho-Ho-Ho-Chi-Minh"? Great patriots, all. Bill Ayers trampling a flag? Dissent is patriotic, dude.
But now that Barack Obama has been elected, comes an admission, unintended as it may be. Yeah, maybe we weren't so much before, but it's cool to be patriotic. Now. Such can be seen in Derrick Z. Jackson's Boston Globe column of today, 'It's OK to be an American now." From Jackson's opening paragraph [emphasis added]:
Before Obama's victory speech in Chicago, the crowd of 125,000 people said the Pledge of Allegiance. In my 53 years I have never heard such a multicultural throng recite the pledge with such determined enunciation, expelling it from the heart in a treble soaring to the skies and a bass drumming through the soil to vibrate my feet.
Looks like a couple of fellows pushing a book were able to convince the Boston Globe to let them contribute some soothsaying about the future of talk radio. Scratch that, they are talking about today, here and now -- and it's all bad. In the Boston Globe, Steve Elman and Alan Tolz have proclaimed "the rising irrelevance of talk radio," so Rush... fuggedaboutit. Hannity... go back to house painting. Michael Savage... go back to whatever the heck it was you were doing before you were "Michael Savage." It's over. Just like when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor (excuse my John Belushi). Finis ( a little French lingo there).
Unfortunately for Elman and Tolz, though, it appears that they don't even have their main facts straight, much less a crystal ball successfully tuned into the state of talk radio today. In fact, they get something wrong in their very first sentence.
Mike Barnicle, come on up here and accept this morning's Lanny Davis Award for shameless defense of the indefensible. You've earned it. Not merely did the Morning Joe panelist excuse Barack Obama's nasty jab at Nancy Reagan, he actually claimed that we need more of those kind of "jokes" from our presidents.
Joe Scarborough began the discussion by asserting that whereas mayors, governors and other lesser officials can get away with what Obama said about the former First Lady, it is unbecoming in the mouth of a president. The Morning Joe host also suggested that had George W. Bush made a comparable crack about a beloved Dem First Lady, the New York Times would have taken him harshly to task. Leaping to Obama's defense, the former Boston Globe columnist didn't merely don the wetsuit: Barnicle went full bathysphere.
Did you happen to catch the candidate who handled her heckler with grace, poise, and dignity? It’s created quite a buzz in the media…
The Boston Globe spoke of her ‘snappy comeback.’ The Consortium for Independent Journalism reveled in ‘her deft reaction.’ MSNBC reported from the scene that there was ‘roaring cheers and applause from the stunned crowd.’ USA Today remarked about her ‘deadpanning.’ The New York Times noted that ‘Her words were drowned out by a cheering, now-standing crowd.’
Yes, the media was all sorts of in love with the quick retort to a crazed heckler.
But, if you thought that was in response to Sarah Palin’s excellent handling of an anti-war heckler, you’d be sadly, mistaken. Rather, those were all quotes in response to Hillary’s handling of the ‘Iron My Shirt!’ incident, nearly a year ago. It was all the MSM rage once upon a time.
I would urge someone close to members of the editorial board of the Boston Globe to let them know that the world is not flat, the moon is not made of green cheese, and Elvis is, indeed, dead. I say this because obviously the Boston Globe is way behind the times in discovering facts that debunk rumors and it's clear they have no capacity to do any research. I mean, they must not be paying attention to reality because in today's editorial, the Globe again raises the thoroughly debunked claim that Sarah Palin charged rape victims for their rape kits when she was mayor of Wasilla. The claim is a straight out lie that has been demolished by many writers (including myself), yet the Globe obviously took no efforts to research the facts before they revealed their incompetence to the world.
It's no surprise that this proven lie against Palin is being whipped up again just before the VP debates by the Obama flacks at the Globe. They want her to be tagged with this lie to distract her from real issues, it is plain. And that isn't just my opinion because they justify the re-raising of this long ago debunked charge as one that should be asked of her during the debate on Thursday.
One day its editorial page says Obama's health care plan is superior to McCain's; after all, it's sort of like the Massachusetts plan, and look at the state's high rate of insurance coverage now! Next day: Mass. residents waiting 100 days for primary care.
Unfortunately, coverage mandates don't solve the underlying problems in the health sector, whether we're talking about doctor shortages or costs.
On Monday, The Boston Globe greeted the debut of hard-left Air America host Rachel Maddow’s new show on MSNBC with a bouquet of praise. She’s not only "a key face of the new, feisty, ratings-boosted [?] MSNBC," she’s "affable and erudite," she’s "cripplingly patriotic" and has a "yen for national-security issues." MSNBC brass added she "often isn’t expressing an opinion as much as laying out facts," and claimed MSNBC is a brand for "high-powered intellects...an appetite for really smart discussion of the news."
In my post on Tuesday, I wrote about Stanley Kurtz's efforts to access the Annenberg Challenge files housed at the University of Illinois-Chicago. These files documented an educational initiative started by Bill Ayers and chaired by Barack Obama.
At that point, only AP writer Pete Yost had written anything about the story. Additionally, U of I rep Bill Burton issued a press release. Since that time, there has been no movement from the university and coverage by the MSM has been minimal, though it is finally beginning to pick up. To wit, as reported in a blog post at the Chicago Tribune, Chicago mayor, Richard Daley, declined to intervene in the matter by pressing U of I to release the documents to Kurtz, saying,
People keep trying to align himself [sic] with Barack Obama. It's really unfortunate. They're friends. So what? People do make mistakes in the past. You move on. This is a new century, a new time. He reflects back and he’s been making a strong contribution to our community.
According to Daley, we should move on and accept that any past relationship between Obama and Ayers was entirely innocuous, on his (Daley's) say so. Right.
Over a drawing of Michael Dukakis waving in front of Air Force One, the cover story for last Sunday's Boston Globe Magazine posed the question very few have ever wanted answered, but if such people exist they most likely live within the Globe's home delivery area: “What If? Twenty years later, imagining there was a President Dukakis.” While certainly hagiographic, staff magazine writer Charles P. Pierce avoided the ludicrous level of veneration he espoused in a 2003 profile of Senator Ted Kennedy:
If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.
The August 3 piece imagined a tour of the new Michael Dukakis Presidential Museum and Library in Lowell, Mass. which highlights how the former Massachusetts Governor slam-dunked Bernard Shaw's murder of Kitty Dukakis question, “deftly saved” himself from the tank ride embarrassment “by quipping, 'I looked silly in a tank for 15 minutes. George Bush has been in the tank for 30 years,'” applied his diplomatic skills to prevent Saddam Hussein from invading Iraq and thus avoided the Gulf War, and “the success of his diplomatic efforts in the Middle East gave him the political capital to spend on reforming the nation's passenger-rail system” and so “the third floor of the museum is built around a central hall celebrating what Dukakis had come to call 'The Steel Interstate.'”
The Associated Press has done it again, even beyond what Ken Shepherd of NewsBusters noted in a related post on June 4.
In that post, Ken cited an AP report that did not identify the political party of Democratic Massachusetts State Senator and alleged serial sexual assaulter James Marzilli until the eleventh and final paragraph.
AP Writer Denise Lavoie went one step further in her 300-word July 30 report on criminal complaint charges that have been filed against Marzilli. She completely failed to disclose his party, even though she noted his previous withdrawal from an upcoming election, and even though there is another prosecution in progress involving similar charges:
On Friday, NewsBusters wondered how much attention media would pay to the Republican revolt that occurred after Speaker Pelosi adjourned the House for a five week vacation without allowing a vote on offshore oil drilling.
It turns out that if you rely on the evening news programs of the three broadcast networks, you didn't hear about this extraordinary event at all (photo courtesy AP).
And, if you're one of the few people that still reads newspapers, the one thrown on your driveway Saturday morning likely also ignored this story, or buried it well off the front page.
Conceivably the worst of the network offenders was the "NBC Nightly News" which actually addressed the fact that Congress adjourned without a vote on drilling, but completely ignored the GOP revolt that ensued afterwards (from closed captioning):
There has been a trend in recent years for liberals to try to rebrand themselves as conservatives. The purpose is to con people into thinking that they somehow uphold traditional values. One of the more laughable of these rebranding attempts has been put forward by one John Schwenkler, a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. The very title of Schwenkler's Boston Globe article, "Eat Republican," along with the subtitle, "How an organic movement born in Berkeley exemplifies conservative values," sets the tone for the attempted con. Schwenkler leads off by attempting to convince us that someone who cooked a fundraising dinner for a Democrat is really a conservative: