Jesse L. Jackson Jr. was indicted on Friday, February 15, the final day before a three-day weekend, even though the information necessary to indict appears to have been in place for some time. Though it may be out there and I'm certainly willing to stand corrected, from what I can tell, the U.S. Department of Justice made no formal announcement when it filed its charges (10-page PDF). Based on the 12:55 p.m. ET time stamp at a Politico story reporting what "the government will allege" and the 1:03 p.m. Pacific Time (i.e., 4:03 p.m. ET) of what appears to have been the first breaking news story from the Associated Press, the government appears to have waited until well into the afternoon to file its charges.
The reporting on Jackson's indictment mostly deferred identifying his party affiliation for several paragraphs, and in some instances, including the aforementioned AP breaking news item, omitted it entirely.
One of the things that self-described “mainstream” reporters like to tout about themselves is that they do not publish stories without trying to talk to the people discussed in them.
Apparently those rules do not apply at the Chicago Sun-Times when the subject of a hit piece is former Republican congressman Joe Walsh. The paper on Monday posted a story attacking him but did not give him a chance to respond to the allegation before it ran with the piece.
At one time, newspapers were America’s source for news and current events. Today it’s a completely different story. While President Obama has declared a push to ban or limit types of guns, the nation’s major newspapers are nearly unanimous in their support of gun control. The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and other most-popular papers led the list.
The consistent theme of almost every gun editorial from Dec. 15, 2012 to Jan. 11, 2013, was that stricter gun laws were needed, and semi-automatic rifles should be completely banned from civilian use. Some newspapers were even more aggressive.
As of shortly before 1 p.m. ET, at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, there is no story about what the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday evening about just-reelected Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., namely that he " is in the midst of plea discussions with the feds probing his alleged misuse of campaign funds." There is also no story on the home page at Politico.
Selected paragraphs from Michael Sneed's Sun-Times report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
As soon as Romney pledged not to cut military spending (incorrectly implying that was an Obama proposal — something he has done before) Obama pounced, portraying Romney as woefully uninformed about how a modern military measures its strike force.
Reporting from Chicago this afternoon on MSNBC, NBC News reporter Kevin Tibbles described yesterday's teachers union picket lines as "festive" occasions but worried that the mood may sour if an accord is not reached soon.
Yet while other media outlets have reported and confirmed that the Chicago teachers union had requested a 35 percent pay hike, Tibbles completely ignored the issue of pay, insisting the teachers union is concerned most with teacher evaluation policies.
Less than 48 hours from now, Chicago's teachers, whose union head insists, as quoted by the Associated Press, that "we are here to negotiate for better schools in Chicago," may walk off the job, leaving the children entrusted to them to languish in half-days of activities unrelated to learning "staffed by non-union and central office workers."
There seems to be an unwritten rule that news coverage of these matters not discuss the current earnings of those who are threatening to strike. In a writeup of over 900 words, AP writers Tammy Webber and Don Babwin stuck to that script, and also failed to tell their readers the size of the raise union negotiators initially requested. Those two figures follow the jump.
While many liberals cheer the harsh words that Democratic Mayors Thomas Menino (Boston) and Rahm Emanuel (Chicago) have had for the Chick-fil-A fast-food chain as a result of its conservative, pro-traditional marriage president, editorial boards at liberal newspapers in those two cities have come out with strong criticisms for the anti-conservative bullying.
"[W]hich part of the First Amendment does Menino not understand? A business owner’s political or religious beliefs should not be a test for the worthiness of his or her application for a business license," the Boston Globe complained in a July 25 editorial. "History will render judgment on the views of Chick-fil-A executives. City Hall doesn’t have to," the editorial board concluding, having noted that there's no evidence that Chick-fil-A breaks any anti-discrimination laws.
On a day when most normal Americans are relaxing and celebrating the Fourth of July with family and friends, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg is giving full vent to his Liberal Rage Syndrome by angrily lashing out at Republicans by labeling them as the "treason party." Oh, he pretends he COULD be labeling them as such but won't. However, this disingenous denial is belied by the fact that reading his column leaves no doubt that he is most definitely making that accusation. And for those few people who are actually fooled by his lame denial, there is the very title of his column as proof of Steinberg's intolerance of political opinions at variance to his own beliefs:
Liberals look to government, often the Federal government, for solutions to almost everything. Chicago's murder rate is appalling, with at least six people killed and another 31 shot last weekend. So to whom does Chicago Sun-Times columnist Stella Foster turn for help? President Barack Obama.
On the newspaper's Web site today appears Foster's plea, titled "Letter to President Obama: Please help address city violence." The article also appears in the newspaper's print edition with the headline "Dear Mr. President: Help our city!" It begins:
PRESIDENT OBAMA, you came into your hometown of Chicago last weekend to attend the backyard wedding of the daughter of your personal friend and senior advisor Valerie Jarrett in your Kenwood neighborhood. I am sure the affair was lovely and heartwarming. Hopefully, your schedule, one day soon, will allow you to return to Chi Town to spearhead an anti-violence rally of huge proportion to speak out against the senseless gun violence that has overwhelmed various areas of our city. . .
Posted on the Chicago Sun-Times's Web site today is "The rise and fall of Rod Blagojevich," written by Carol Marin, the newspaper's political columnist. Illinois's former Democratic governor is heading to the Federal pen this week, and Marin writes "he had surrounded himself with con men and creeps." She names a few, most notably convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko. She ignores a man who had a substantial role in elevating Blagojevich to the governor's office, Barack Obama.
In a 2008 New Yorker accounting, Ryan Lizza wrote:
Saturday morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appeared alongside Rev. Jesse Jackson on his weekly Rainbow PUSH program, prior to her endorsement of Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) in this month's Democratic primary. The Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, WLS AM, and the local affiliates of NBC and ABC all covered the the event.
Moments after saying it's "a badge of honor" for President Barack Obama to be known as the food stamp president, Pelosi made an incredible assertion (video here):
On April 15, The Chicago Sun-Times reported on its Web site, "Jesse Jackson denies gay worker’s harassment, discrimination claims." The article began:
A spokesman for the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Thursday denied a claim from a man who says he was fired from the civil rights leader’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition because he is gay.
Tommy R. Bennett filed a complaint with the city of Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations last year, alleging Jackson fired him unjustly and that the civil rights leader forced him to perform “uncomfortable” tasks, including escorting various women to hotel rooms to meet Jackson for sex.
The piece ended noting that a gay publication, The Windy City Times, had reported Bennett's allegations earlier in the week. The Windy City Times story included more salacious details, such as the complainant's charge that Jackson directed him to apply cream to a rash between Jackson's legs; the minister told Bennett about one of his high school instructors, a gay man, who served as Jackson's teacher with benefits; and Bennett's allegation that Jackson wanted to have sex with the Rainbow Coalition employee.
Whoever is compiling a list of what journalists really believe when they put forth certain vague but commonly used phrases (e.g., using "some people believe" instead of truthfully saying "in my opinion") should consider adding the following: "small but vocal group" really means "a tiny bunch of people I agree with."
That's my assessment as I look at two uses of the term this past weekend, each referring to pathetically small gatherings of people using tax-filing weekend as a excuse to protest "corporate tax loopholes."
The first comes to us via David Roeder of the Chicago Sun-Times (HT JammieWearingFool via Instapundit), where the paper's headline writers cooked up something that would give those who didn't read the underlying report the impression that the city's Tea Party Tax Day protest was small:
On the Chicago Sun-Times's Web site today, it's reported that former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has applied for unemployment benefits. Stroger had been earning $170,000 at his job, and his former employer is appealing his eligibility. Not mentioned, of course, is the fact Stroger is a Democrat.
A little more than four years ago, Stroger was endorsed by then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as "a good progressive Democrat" who will "lead us into a new era of Cook County government." He certainly did. His tenure was marked by scandal after scandal after scandal. Still, Stroger was constantly on the prowl for new talent to bring to government. So impressed was he with one restaurant busboy he encountered that the man ended up with a $61,189-a-year county job. The guy sure must have known how to handle a glass of ice water.
The new civility demanded by liberals suffered a setback at Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Saturday morning forum this week. As televised on the WORD Network, featured speaker Democratic Wisconsin state Sen. Lena Taylor told a cheering audience that Gov. Scott Walker (R) "got our state for sale like a two-bit. . . " Taylor's PUSH appearance was reported by, among others, the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago's ABC 7 News, and the Huffington Post. None found Taylor's slur worthy of mention.
TAYLOR: It's not acceptable that in this bill where my governor lies and says that it's for his budget, when he's already received all the concessions he needs from workers that he is really just giving away. It's not that our - he says that our state is open for business, he got our state for sale. Ooo. Ooo. Ooo. He got our state for sale like a two-bit. . . OK, hmm, hmm, you know what I was going to say. And it's not acceptable.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) isn't alone in having trouble understanding how the government is organized. In a Sunday article posted on the Chicago Sun-Times's Web site, staff reporter Mary Houlihan credits the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) with running the House Committee on Un-American Activities. That would have been quite an accomplishment, given the fact McCarthy never served in the House of Representatives.
Houlihan writes of photographer Milton Rogovin, who died last month. After military service during World War II, Rogovin "organized a chapter of the optometrists’ union and served as librarian for the Communist Party of Buffalo."
Then the inevitable happened. In October 1957, Rogovin was caught in the net cast by the House Un-American Activities Committee helmed by Sen. Joseph McCarthy. It was the waning days of the Communist witch hunt, and the experience would change Rogovin’s life.
With the claim that “we cannot walk away from this one” the newspaper rails against the tone of America’s political rhetoric, to end the fear-mongering and “quit the demonizing”. And then in an incredibly inane example of ideological laziness the editorial demonizes “the right” for the tragic shooting.
In the wake of a huge GOP midterm victory, pro-abortion women actively took to the social website Twitter to reject the incoming wave of pro-life candidates. Those who have had abortions spoke out on Twitter, proudly tweeting “#ihadanabortion.” From the Chicago Sun-Times, to The Washington Post, the media obliged these women and their left-wing social agenda by complaining conservatives wish to “scrub the ‘a-word’ of stigma and shame” and compare pro-abortion women to those fighting for civil rights.
When a “hashtag” (a pound sign) followed by a series of words is used on Twitter (for example - #ihadanabortion) an online community is created for those who are discussing a similar topic. According to the Post, on Nov. 5 the #ihadanabortion topic was among the top 10 most popular or “trending” topics on Twitter.
It must be hard for newspaper editors to pick and choose which candidates to report on in an election season when their endorsed candidates fall on the opposite side of issues that contradict the paper's endorsed claims. Case in point, given the choice of reporting about the numerous reports of Illinois not paying their obligations and that of a payment glitch concerning a leading Republican gubernatorial candidate which story do you think the Chicago Sun Times would choose?
If you picked the non-story hiding behind candidate R you would be correct.
When the story broke involving five high school students sent home by school administrators for daring to wear the American flag on Cinco de Mayo, the once universally-beloved film critic Roger Ebert had a choice. He could either side with the students and school administrators repressing free speech or he could side with those having their speech repressed. Not surprisingly (he is a leftist, after all), Ebert sided with the repressors. Worse, with this Tweet, Ebert equated wearing the American flag as just as offensive as wearing the Soviet hammer & sickle.
Today, Ebert responds with the usual leftist refuge of last resort: How dare you question my patriotism!
Reporters noticed the extremist Nation of Islam leader Rev. Louis Farrakhan’s latest three-and-a-half hour jeremiad on Sunday, but some left the most extreme rhetoric out. Kim Janssen of the Chicago Sun-Times caught it:
Speaking to an estimated 20,000 followers of the black nationalist movement at the United Center on Sunday, the 76-year-old Farrakhan said, "The white right is trying to set Barack up to be assassinated."
Referring to a Southern Baptist preacher's recent prayer that the president die, Farrakhan said, "There are Christians praying for God to kill Obama."
"I’m reminded the term Teabaggers is pornographic. Didn’t know that until MSM told me. Let’s face it: The Baggers own it now." — The latest from Roger Ebert’s [depicted at left in 2003 file photo at right] Twitter, presumably in response to this.
Ebert’s seen a lot of films but obviously hasn’t learned very much from them. When he disappeared into the hospital for all those months, those of us who disagreed with his politics put those meaningless differences aside as we worried and prayed for the robust return of the thumb that had become such a part of our lives. But who would’ve guessed he wouldn’t come out of his near-death experience like the movies taught him to: as a kinder, more understanding, more tolerant and patient man with a new appreciation for the simple and human things in life? No, he went the opposite way and the story of Roger Ebert’s life will now look as though the projectionist got the reels for “Regarding Henry” confused.
It’s been extraordinary to watch this once beloved critic squander all the universal affection and goodwill he had built up over a lifetime in just a few short months. And over nothing. No one bad-mouthed his mother or rang his doorbell and ran. We disagree on the size and scope of the federal government. We disagree over the idea that increased government control will improve our health care. We’re not as enamored as he is with the man currently occupying the Oval Office. Disagree, argue, that’s all fine. But he’s calling us “teabaggers,” and he knows full well what that means. And he’s calling us “teabaggers” because he doesn’t have the guts to come right out and call us “c***suckers.”
In stories currently carrying Friday afternoon and early Saturday time stamps, the Associated Press weighed in with supportive articles about Illinois Democrats who are desperately trying to convince Scott Lee Cohen (pictured at right; image is captured from his web site), who won the party's nomination for Lieutenant Governor, to step aside.
In the Friday afternoon's report ("Embattled Dem Ill. candidate won't step down"), AP reporter Karen Hawkins swallowed the line that "details had emerged" about Cohen's 2005 arrest on domestic battery charges, despite the fact that Cohen himself preemptively disclosed many of those details to Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mark Brown in March 2009 (link is to a cached copy of Brown's article that was posted at Cohen's campaign site). Brown apparently chose not to relay much of what Cohen revealed, but he clearly had a lot of it.
In an early Saturday item ("IL Gov. might want to run from his running mate"), the wire service's Deanna Bellandi owned up to the existence of the Sun-Times story and relayed the demands of several Illinois Democrats that Cohen withdraw.
Each reporter seemed to go out of her way to avoid mentioning the remaining candidates for the Republican Party's gubernatorial nomination, Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, who are currently locked in a razor-thin, currently undecided race.
The gubernatorial race in Illinois is heating up. Conservative Republican candidate Adam Andrzejewski has, according to some reports, surged from relative obscurity to within 2 points of the lead for the GOP nomination. And last week Andrzejewski was endorsed by Lech Walesa, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and former President of Poland.
If you live in the Chicago area, however, may be unaware that such an important historical and political figure was just in your town, endorsing a candidate for governor of your state. The only local television coverage the endorsement event received was from Chicago's ABC News station, which showed Walesa and Andrzejewski on stage while covering a Tea Party rally at the event, but never even mentioned the former president by name (see video below the fold).
The only print coverage in local newspapers the event garnered was from the Tribune, which ran a 113-word AP story, and the Sun-Times, which mentioned Walesa in a 2-sentence caption, right below a blurb headlined "Family of boy found hanged sues schools" and above one headlined "New Schools Expo today". So the latter paper decided the death of a child in a local suburb was more important than a political endorsement from a man at least partially responsible for the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. The former decided it couldn't spare a reporter for such a monumental figure (h/t Founding Bloggers and Race 4 2012).
In today's Chicago Sun-Times, columnist Mary Mitchell elevates talk show host Oprah Winfrey to a new level:
You might not think you're going to miss Oprah, but you are. There are stories that only Oprah can do, and there are things that only Oprah and God can make happen.
Mitchell's adulation for Oprah is shared by many in the mainstream media. From early shows devoted to male-bashing through attacks on free enterprise and limited government to her campaigning for Barack Obama's election, Winfrey has burnished her liberal credentials.
In bracketing Oprah with God, however, I wonder why Mitchell didn't include Obama, as in "There are things that only Oprah and God and the Federal government under the unparalleled leadership of Barack Hussein Obama can make happen."
Last month it was school children merrily singing the praises of Barack Hussein Obama. Mmm. Mmm. Mm! Today it's a Chicago Sun-Times article by writer Mary Houlihan headlined, "Political junkie still 7 years from voting, calls for Obama: Lorenzo's calls for Obama land him on HBO." Begins Houlihan:
Lorenzo Rivera may be only 11 years old, but he knows more about politics than many adults.
The Chicago fifth-grader proves just how much in the new documentary "By the People: The Election of Barack Obama," where he is filmed making campaign calls on Obama's behalf in 2008.
In the movie, debuting at 8 p.m. Tuesday on HBO, filmmakers Amy Rice and Alicia Sams capture Lorenzo, only 9 at the time, handling a call to a confused voter with a calm and grace belying his young age.
Later in the article, Houlihan reports that the calm and graceful Lorenzo's father just happens to work for U. S. Senator Roland Burris (D-IL). Quite a coincidence there.