Never has so few words been so wrong until the the Christmas Day Chicago Sun-Times Daily Rant came along. Not only does it unreasonably call the mean, pre-ghosted version of the Scrooge character a "traditional, conservative Republican" but it then goes on to swerve to the opposite -- and equally wrong -- conclusion that the post-ghostie Scrooge is a "bleeding-heart liberal." In truth BOTH claims are quite wide of the mark in analogy. In fact, not only did the Sun-times miss a true reading of the characters, they got them juxtaposed!
I can't understand why people are so in love with Charles Dickens' story ''A Christmas Carol.''
Let me see if I understand the story right: Scrooge starts out as a traditional, conservative Republican, and because of the interference of three, uh, ghosts, he ends up a bleeding-heart liberal. Why is this such a good thing?
Long-time gossip columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, Michael Sneed, was one of the first to announce that the son of Chicago's Mayor Daley volunteered as a private in the U.S. Army in 2004 after successfully attaining his MBA from the University of Chicago. That was interesting reporting, that such a big city mayor's son would join the Army like a regular guy, of course, but has Sneed now taken her "exclusives" a step too far? On Dec. 11th, Sneed reported that Patrick Daley is being deployed overseas. Has this somewhat specific news endangered his life and/or that of his fellow soldiers now that the enemy has been told that the son of a famous politician is on his way to a specific theater of action as well as being told a targeted window of departure?
On Thursday, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet picked up on a story related by the Atlantic Monthly's Marc Ambinder that claims that a few months ago the Barack Obama campaign sought to place the Norman Hsu scandal in the press in an effort to create anti-Hillary buzz in the MSM. Such a political "dirty trick" would seem to be a juice story for members of the MSM, wouldn't it? So, why is Lynn Sweet the only one focusing on this one, anyway? With the sneaky actions of the Obama campaign, one would think that the MSM would be in an uproar for having been used so badly by a political candidate. And, were this a GOP "dirty trick," it would be sure that news creators the nation over would be wagging their fingers and clucking their tongues at this violation of their purported integrity and independence for being used so by a mere political campaign. But, so far the condemnation of the Obama campaign is nearly nonexistent with this barely even causing a raised eyebrow. Don't you wonder why that is?
Now, I know finding a Republican in Chicago city government is probably less likely than spotting a nudist in a porcupine convention, but is it asking too much for the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times to add a D-tag when reporting on six-term (and freshly re-elected) Mayor Richard M. Daley's push for an 11 percent city sales tax and a 10-cent-per-bottle bottled water tax?
It's particularly puzzling given the Sun-Times excellent reporting by Tim Novak and Fran Spielman on the "hidden tax" imposed by corruption within the Daley administration:
When Mayor Daley asked Chicagoans to cough up $293 million more next year to finance the cost of city government, there's one tax he failed to mention: The Corruption, Waste and Mismanagement Tax.
Is the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) politically picky when taking umbrage with topics pursued by the media? Could be. After Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report posted the "Obama Wife Slams Hillary" headline across his site, CJR ran an article complaining Drudge Barks, TV News Bites.
It seems the CJR is upset that Drudge's headline sparked a media feeding frenzy in which the major news sources all picked up both on the original story in the Chicago Sun-Times and on the interpretation that Michelle Obama's remark constituted an attack on Senator Hillary Clinton. Now for anyone who read the original story, there seems little doubt that Mrs. Obama's remark really was a thinly disguised dig at Hillary. The Sun-Times wrote:
Left-wing author and media darling Barbara Ehrenreich’s August 29 article, entitled “Smashing Capitalism,” proves yet again what’s been obvious for quite some time. Her view of economics is crazy. Ehrenreich is the author of numerous books, her most famous being “Nickel and Dimed,” and her most recent “Dancing in the Streets”
Ehrenreich claims the poor are single-handedly “smashing the global financial system.” She even describes their actions as a “revolution.”
They may not be YouTube-friendly, but the Chicago Sun-Times has on staff at least two Obama Girls cranking out their undiluted admiration for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Columnist Lynn Sweet, the newspaper's Washington Bureau Chief, has expressed her displeasure with not being able to follow him into the East Bank Club's locker room. When Obama announced his candidacy, Ms. Sweet deemed his speech "soaring" and "inspirational," an evaluation not shared by everyone seeing it.
The Chicago Sun-Times is blaming the Bush administration for what they claim is sure to be a rise in unplanned pregnancies at colleges and universities across the country. It hasn't happened yet, mind you, but they are sure it's gonna! Naturally, the paper cannot imagine we should place any blame on the stupid students who are getting themselves pregnant. I mean, it HAS to be Bush's fault, you see, with personal responsibility being so last century and all. No, the Sun-Times is sure that a cut in the amount of Federal money doled out to our institutions of higher learning for cheap birth control is going to wreak havoc with the student body. Our kids are obviously too stupid to get by without that government spending.
Reacting to an MRC press release, Chicago Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper lashed out at MRC President Brent Bozell and Culture and yours truly for applauding the record-breaking viewer numbers racked up by Disney Channel’s "High School Musical 2." Roeper makes the nonsensical argument that Disney is known for wholesome stuff, so what’s the big deal? But then he wraps up his piece with this shot:
"GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, in a bid to highlight his support of abstinence education and appeal to his base vote, is going after Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
"Romney is twisting benign comments Obama made about sex education to a Planned Parenthood Action Fund conference to bolster his credentials among, apparently, the GOP voters who see themselves as sole proprietors of 'faith and values.'"
Ms Sweet notes that Obama emphasized that sex education needs to be "age appropriate." Left unstated is what exactly that means.
Jennifer Hunter, the Chicago Sun-Times writer and wife of Sun-Times publisher John Cruickshank, who wrote the recent story skewered here on Newsbusters revealing a supposed "staunch Republican" from Philly who has suddenly decided to support the Democrats in 2008, has written a new piece today claiming she is being "harassed by a group of irate Republicans" because of her badly researched column. (The interviewee in her piece claimed to be a "staunch Republican" even as his cash donation records prove he almost exclusively supports Democrats) Her follow up, however, seems more like the kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar while blaming everyone around her as opposed to a satisfactory explanation of a failure to fully investigate her story.
Complaining... no, more like whining... that she has been flooded with "daily emails" calling her a liar and demanding that she be fired, Hunter-Cruickshank blames the headline writers instead of her own poor investigative work for the firestorm of criticism.
In yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times article, "Could Obama end centuries of corruption?," staff reporter Jennifer Hunter questions if Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, "a champion of improving government ethics at both the federal and state level," can clean up the government. Ms Hunter finds the senator's "ethic proposals are praiseworthy" and lauds his efforts.
No mention is made in her article of Obama's intimate connection to someone who may not be quite so interested in ethics, indicted businessman Tony Rezko. Even after it was known that Rezko was the target of a Federal investigation, Obama asked the wheeler-dealer to get involved in the purchase of Obama's home.
Why is it that every time the MSM writes a story about a supposedly "staunch Republican" who is vocally supporting the opposing Party, we have to wonder of its veracity? Maybe it's because there always seems to be a few little problems with the claim of "staunchness" on the part of the MSM's favored Party hopper du jour? And in this case, the Chicago Sun-Times story titled "GOP lawyer sold on Dems" by Jennifer Hunter, we have no better assurances than we ever do that the claimed "staunch Republican" is either very "staunch" or very "Republican."
New Editorial Page Editor Cheryl L. Reed has been given marching orders from publisher John Cruickshank and head editor Michael Cooke to re-brand the editorial and opinion section of the Chicago Sun Times with an eye toward the future. Specifically she has been told not to be too conservative. (h/t Republic of Biloxi)
"Don't be conservative," Cruickshank urged me. "We don't want you to hold back."
One could take this statement in one of two ways. On the one hand you might assume that Cruickshank is telling Reed to think outside the box and come up with some really innovative ideas that might just involve a bit of risk.
On the other hand you could approach this challenge from the perspective of just about everyone else in the newspaper industry and take Cruickshank's words literally.
As the world prepares for a deluge of Live Earth concerts featuring the Global Warmingist-in-Chief himself, more and more of his inconvenient hypocrisies are being exposed by scientists and writers across the planet.
The most recent exposé was written by a senior fellow of the Heartland Institute, James M. Taylor.
The op-ed, published Saturday by the Chicago Sun-Times, deliciously addressed the real assault on reason not covered in soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore’s most recent work of political science fiction (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer goldenthroat):
As a follow-up to my previous post, I thought I'd take a look at the inane headlines for coverage of the 5-4 ruling today that restricts school districts from using race to manage school populations. Time and the Los Angeles Times are real howlers:
"an interesting phenomenon that has arisen over the last few months: a trend of moderate Republicans who want to vote for Barack Obama. It may seem counterintuitive, conservatives supporting a candidate who wants to tax the wealthy and embrace the conventions in the Kyoto Accord, but there is something in Obama's message about ridding politics of partisanship that is appealing to these Republicans."
In the first sentence, moderate Republicans are backing Obama. By the next, they've become conservatives. You'd think Ms Hunter, who is married to the newspaper's publisher, would know - as most people do - that moderate Republican isn't synonymous with conservative.
On May 29th a Catholic Priest from Chicago's St. Sabina Church joined a rally in front of a gun shop and called for the owner of the shop and all pro-gun legislators to be "snuffed out", yet, the media is strangely silent on the "Father's" extreme comments -- words one would think would be explosive enough to get media coverage. Father Michael Pfleger, known the city over for his overt political activism, made the obscene comments while demonstrating with Jesse Jackson and his Organization Operation Push in front of Chuck's Gun Shop in Riverdale, a Chicago suburb.
This from the Capitol Fax Blog (one of Illinois' best political sites):
Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina’s Church, went way over the top this week. During a protest against Chuck’s Gun Shop, Father Pfleger twice threatened to “snuff out” the shop’s owner and threatened the same fate for legislators who oppose his position on gun control.
“We’re gonna find you and snuff you out,” Fleger said about the gun shop owner, likening the man to a “rat.” He later repeated his threat to “snuff out” the owner.
In Tuesday's Chicago Sun-Times, TV critic Doug Elfman wasn't enthusiastic about a new USA Network program, "Starter Wife":
"The show just kind of lies there, like the bird poop that fell on our president's face at a press conference the other day. Oh, I mean, his shirt. Sorry. Wishful thinking."
When Elfman won an award at a newspaper he previous wrote for, the editor cited him for his "quick wit."
Perhaps among mainstream media types, wistfully dreaming of bird poop on President Bush's face qualifies as a real knee slapper. What's next at the Sun-Times, the food editor hoping to see the President slide on a banana peel?
Elfman is right about one thing: He is indeed sorry.
Bob Knight, Director of the Culture and Media Institute offers these thoughts on the media's treatment of the death of Rev. Jerry Falwell.
In many of his talks to Liberty University students, the Rev. Jerry Falwell emphasized the importance of “finishing well.”
On Tuesday, May 15, he was at the top of his game when he unexpectedly died in the college office where he was planning more expansions of the fast-growing university that he founded in 1971.
The Rev. Falwell did a lot of things well, ticking off liberals right up to the end. How else would he have garnered the kind of tribute from a major newspaper’s religion writer that was headlined, “Sigh of relief over Falwell death.”
To make sure no one mistook her, Chicago Sun-Times Religion Writer Cathleen Falsani’s May 18 column explains her reaction to the news about Dr. Falwell on May 15.
It might not be surprising for liberal blog commenters or talk-radio callers to denounce Rev. Jerry Falwell upon his death, but it's a little more surprising when it comes to a professed Christian who's religion columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. Cathleen Falsani reflected on her first reaction about hearing Falwell was "relief" and compared him to gangster TV character Tony Soprano:
Knowing I didn't have a deadline to meet that day, my first thoughts were not of what to say or write.
In fact, my very first thought upon hearing of the Rev. Falwell's passing was: Good.
And I didn't mean "good" in a oh-good-he's-gone-home-to-be-with-the-Lord kind of way. I meant "good" as in "Ding-dong, the witch is dead."