Of late, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been arguing that the mainstream media persistently exercise the "management" of the news. That is to say, aside from slanted and biased reporting on the news of the day, they frame news developments in a way that manage events to fit a preconceived meme or storyline.
The media's coverage of Army recruiting numbers is no exception.
Bear in mind these facts included in some of the stories I cite below but usually well after the lede:
The Army is nonetheless ahead of its year-to-date recruiting goal
July, August, and September are traditionally the best months for recruiting
Many potential enlistees are turned away from being overweight or lacking a high school diploma
Some experts, such as former Defense undersecretary Edwin Dorn, marvel that "the big surprise is that Army recruiting has remained as healthy as it has been" given the Iraq war's falling support in the polls.
Nope, instead the lede is two straight months of numbers that aren't up to par and immediately Iraq is blamed.
Voila! A "trend" story waiting to happen for a media bent on managing the news.
Dateline: San Francisco. A city which HumanEvents.com ranked as the "most liberal city in America" is taking another shot at business and consumer rights and another step towards socialism with it's most recent ban. This week’s victim? The plastic shopping bag.
Jane Meredith Adams, a contributing editor to Parenting Magazine penned this June 25 special to the Chicago Tribune in which she ignores the impact of the law’s demands on businesses and consumers but instead highlights the fashionable nature of "eco-chic grocery totes."
In its rush to paint yesterday's Supreme Court ruling that struck down an issue ad ban contained in the so-called McCain-Feingold Law, the Chicago Tribune described the case as a win for President Bush and the GOP, even though the Bush administration's lawyers lost the case in question and even though the case benefits liberal activist groups as much as it does conservatives. What's more, Bush's appointees to the court actually restrained the conservative majority from taking a bigger swipe at the campaign finance law.
Here's the lede from the Tribune staffer David Savage:
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court gave President Bush and Republican
leaders two important 5-4 victories Monday by clearing the way for
corporate-funded broadcast ads before next year's election and by
shielding the White House's "faith-based initiative" from challenge in
Oh really? President Bush signed the campaign finance bill into law, it was his Federal Election Commission that pleaded and lost the case, and he's not able to run again for reelection, yet somehow he won yesterday by virtue of his Federal Election Commission losing?
What's more, Republicans, conservatives, and business interests can certainly benefit from the change in the law, but so can Democrats, liberals, and labor unions, a point that the Washington Post's Robert Barnes picked up on in his reporting, which tracked favorable reaction from labor and business leaders:
As we've documented at NewsBusters, last year the media, particularly the Washington Post, raked then-Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) over the coals for his infamous "macaca" insult, and his ensuing profuse apologies for same. We've also documented that Democratic politicians' jokes about India and Indian-Americans have been largely ignored (see below the jump).
The latest racial incident kicking up dust on the 2008 campaign trail is yet another Democratic gaffe, dubbed by some, "Punjab-gate," after an Obama presidential campaign research memo cheekily described rival Hillary Clinton as a Democrat from Punjab, a province in India.
Of course, as the oppo memo itself notes, and as John McCormick of the Chicago Tribune reported in the Trib's "The Swamp" blog, Obama's staff were referring to another "lame attempt at humor" (my emphasis, see below jump) by the junior senator from the Empire State about her electoral chances were she to decide to relocate to India:
Chicago Tribune “public editor” Timothy McNulty claimed on Friday that he has been sensitized to a gross indignity: stories referring to Hillary Rodham Clinton as merely “Hillary.” Prodded by feminists, he claimed that this indignity deserves exploring, even as he acknowledges that Hillary uses “Hillary!” as a first-person promotional tool in her own campaign. As Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post blew it off in his online chat today: “I used to have the same concern until HRC began running for office and promoting herself as "Hillary" on her Web site, in literature, etc. If it's good enough for her, it's good enough for me.”
The prodding feminist McNulty quotes in the piece is online Tribune editor Jane Fritsch, formerly of The New York Times, who wrote McNulty in an e-mail that "The simple fact is that Hillary Rodham Clinton is running in a field of men who are never referred to by their first names...The argument that we call her Hillary to avoid confusion is a weak one. There are easy alternatives. ... Certainly the problem created by the existence of two presidents named George Bush has been a difficult one, but we found ways to solve it without diminishing George W. Bush."
Moreover, Kass claims that Rosie's tactics are comparable to those espoused by the late Senator Joseph McCarthy:
According to Kass, "McCarthy was famous for his vicious conspiracy theories. He kept opening his mouth, too, just like Rosie. But instead of yelling about 9/11, he insisted that Soviet spies were crawling under every rock in Washington."
Really? That's the party line advanced by Commies, pinkos, socialists, leftists, liberals, and their lackeys and handmaidens for the past half century. The reality is quite different.
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.
As Al Gore and his band of not so merry global warming alarmists in buses and in the press try to convince Americans that they need to alter behaviors in order to save the planet, an inconvenient truth is being cynically withheld: this is going to cost a lot of money.
Of course, one of the delicious hypocrisies is that these are the same people who decry the current economic boom as only helping the rich, and state regularly and fervently that the poor and middle-class are being left behind.
At the same time, such mid- to lower-level wage earners should be saddled with exorbitant additional expenses to shelter them from a wolf that might never come knocking at their doors.
Makes sense, right?
With that in mind, the Chicago Tribune’s Laurie Goering wrote a fabulous piece recently exposing some of the potential costs of this exercise that most media don’t want you to know (emphasis added throughout, h/t Benny Peiser):
Nancy Pelosi, in the run up to the 2006 midterms, decried the Republican Congress' "culture of corruption" and triumphantly claimed she was going to bring back an "ethical" Congress upon the close of the elections. The Democrat Party delighted in the real ills of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the fictional ills of the evil genius Karl Rove and spared no expense to tout their warnings to the electorate. Their efforts seemed to succeed in gaining them a majority. So, what are the reforms this new, glorious era has produced now that the Democrat Party has retaken Congress?
For one thing, instead of decreasing junkets by Congressmen such trips have not abated at all in this new "ethical" Congress. As Examiner correspondent, Charles Hurt, reports, "Congress is keeping Andrews Air Force base plenty busy this year ferrying lawmakers all over the globe at taxpayers’ expense."
As reported by Chicago Tribune columnist Jim Mateja, Obama criticized the U.S. auto industry for not being sufficiently environmentally friendly but made a significant mistake (h/t Paul Mirengoff):
The domestics certainly haven't flooded showrooms with gas/electric hybrids
like the Japanese. But in fairness, the newest Japanese assembly plant in the
U.S. produces 14-m.p.g. Toyota Tundra pickups, not Prius hybrids rated at 60
"While our fuel standards haven't moved from 27.5 miles per gallon in two
decades, both China and Japan have surpassed us, with Japanese cars now
getting an average of 45 miles to the gallon," Obama said.
A curious editorial appeared on the Chicago Tribune website, written by their “senior correspondent”. In keeping with a classic anti-gun-rights gambit, the author claims to be speaking for everybody besides Texas when declaring that a new debate has begun about gun control due to the Virginia Tech shooting, while attempting to stigmatize and ostracize Texans:
HOUSTON -- Much of the rest of the nation might have begun debating whether new gun-control measures are in order in the wake of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history at Virginia Tech last month. But here in Texas, a place where guns seem a part of the state’s very DNA, folks have got some other ideas.1
Kids and parents love the highly-successful series of “Shrek” movies, starring Cameron Diaz, Mike Myers and many others. “Shrek the Third” opens May 18, and that means the cast is on a promotional tour. Several cast members gave an interview to Michael Ordona for the Tribune Newspapers, which own the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times, and disclosed that “Shrek 4” might continue a relatively recent Hollywood trend.
The trend in children's movies has been propagandizing them, usually about environmental issues, and it looks like the the upcoming “Shrek 4” will be no different, especially if Diaz has anything to say about it.
Cameron Diaz wants “Shrek 4” to involve an eco-friendly story line about a threatened swamp environment. Fellow cast members Myers, Julie Andrews and Amy Poehler are also in the below interview excerpt where Diaz revealed her propagandist goal (emphasis mine):
OVERVIEW: I believe that the sale of The Tribune Company last week to investor Sam Zell is an unrecognized low-water mark in the newspaper publishing business. In fact, after subtracting the value of the Tribune's non-newspaper properties from the deal, what little value remains indicates that the value of having access to a newspaper's readers is a mind-boggling 70% less than it was a mere seven years ago.
Is it possible that Tribune Company investors are paying the price of many years of relentless misreporting and biased reporting at its newspapers, especially those it acquired when it bought Times Mirror in 2000? While the numbers presented here of necessity involve a fair amount of approximation, it's hard to avoid concluding that the answer is "yes."
Just in time for the 2008 presidential race, a certified "Friend of Bill" is bidding to acquire the Tribune Company, which owns the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. As reported in this New York Times article , FOB Ronald W. Burkle and Eli Broad sumbitted their bid yesterday to Tribune management.
There’s been no shortage of flattering network stories about Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. “You are the equivalent of a rock star in politics,” NBC Today co-host Meredith Vieira told Obama in October. “You can see it in the crowds. The thrill, the hope. How they surge toward him. You’re looking at an American political phenomenon,” ABC’s Terry Moran gushed on Nightline a few weeks later.
“Barack Obama, with his fairy tale family, has personal charisma to spare,” ABC’s Claire Shipman enthused in January. “He does draw on something deeply good about this country. And we will have to see whether he can really deliver,” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews announced on Hardball in February.
This weekend, the Chicago Tribune published a long investigative story about Obama’s youth, discovering that the story of his own life that Obama presented in his memoir is sometimes at odds with the facts. “Several of his oft-recited stories may not have happened in the way he has recounted them,” the Tribune’s Kirsten Scharnberg and Kim Barker reported in Sunday’s article, “The not-so-simple story of Barack Obama’s youth.”
The Associated Press reports that three journalists are being kicked out of Cuba for writing stories critical of the Communist regime: one BBC reporter, a Chicago Tribune reporter, and a correspondent for El Universal, a Mexican newspaper.
When I read this I recalled a study by MRC's Rich Noyes a few years back about CNN's Cuba coverage, which, by contrast, never incensed the Castro regime. In fact, Noyes found that stories filed from that bureau's chief Lucia Newman amounted to a "Megaphone for a Dictator."
Chicago Tribune lovelorn columnist Amy Dickinson had some interesting advice yesterday for a woman whose husband has lost that lovin' feeling. If she doesn't initiate it, there's no sex.
Amy tells the frustrated spouse: "For fun and to try to mix this up a little, you two might develop a verbal or visual cue that is more subtle than simply asking for sex. For instance, when one of you mentions Vice President Richard Cheney, that's your code."
Perhaps Mr. Cheney is even more potent than his liberal opponents know.
Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass comes at Barack Obama's media hype machine from a local perspective, wondering how a President Obama might be useful to corrupt Illinois politicians in both parties. But he says he like the man, if not his starry-eyed media hype:
He's a decent fellow and I like him. He might make a fine liberal president someday. And though I disagree with him on policy, I'd bet my White Sox tickets that his wife, Michelle, won't keep 800 secret FBI files of their political enemies hidden in some White House bedroom.
Obama isn't irritating. What's irritating is the relentless media fawning and hype. Tom Bevan of the Real Clear Politics Web site recently predicted the slobbering will "drive John Kass nuts."
As NewsBuster Tim Graham reported Sunday, the media were quite late in bringing up Congressman Jack Murtha’s (D-Pennsylvania) ethics issues, as well as his connection to Abscam in the late ’70s. Instead, such matters waited to come to the front pages until after the Democrats safely regained control of Congress. Quite surprisingly, CNN’s “Reliable Sources” host Howard Kurtz (who also writes for the Washington Post) completely agreed that the media dropped the ball on this issue, and grilled his guests about this on Sunday’s program. This segment began:
Since calling for a U.S. pullout from Iraq one year ago, Democratic Congressman Jack Murtha has drawn all kinds of media coverage for his stance. But after the election, when incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed the ex-Marine for next Majority Leader, stories suddenly popped up about Murtha’s relationship with lobbyists, and whether he had helped a company that hired his brother as a lobbyist. And suddenly, television was replaying a 26-year-old videotape from the Abscam scandal in which Murtha was offered a bribe by FBI informants posing as Arab sheiks.
Kurtz then asked the Chicago Tribune’s Clarence Page:
Now that the Democrats have picked their Majority Leader in the House the outcome gives us (and her) the first hint that Speaker Pelosi is not the powerhouse she thought she was. Her man, Murtha, lost in a landslide: 149 to 86... a thumpin' to say the least.
In my last report on how the MSM covered this little inter Dem fight I pointed out that they were ignoring how distant were the two positions on pulling out of Iraq that is held by the erstwhile candidates for Majority Leader.
I noted how they refused to portray Murtha's position as "extreme", even as he supports pulling out of Iraq immediately to Hoyer's, who does not. I noted that the MSM did not waste much breath contrasting Murtha's position with the far less volatile position held by Hoyer.
It seems strangely inconsistent that the MSM ignored the Iraq war issue in their stories since they made the entire recent election all about Iraq and how it is a mess and that our soldiers should come home. Yet, a guy who does not want an immediate pull out defeated Murtha and this fact went uncommented upon.
I don't know if reporter Naftali Bendavid intended it that way but her glowing Chicago Tribune article about Rahm Emanuel revealed some big Democrat fault lines that will have implications in the near future. We see one example of such tension at the beginning of The House That Rahm Built.
Rahm Emanuel was seething.
He was hurtling down an asphalt road in upstate New York on the 47th trip of his ferocious campaign to win back the House. A lecture, even from political consultant James Carville, was the last thing he needed.
While some tabloids capture the drama of John Kerry's uneducated-people-stuck-in-Iraq joke ("KERRY KALAMITY," says the New York Daily News), the nation's biggest newspapers have headlines draining the drama out of the story, and certainly leaving the contents of the "joke" out of the headline:
Some people still think of the Chicago Tribune as the voice of conservative Republicanism. The truth is that it hasn't been for many years.
Today's editorial endorsements by the newspaper provide fresh evidence of how the once mighty Tribune has fallen. The Tribune endorsed seven Illinois candidates for Congress; every one of them is a liberal Democrat.
Moreover, the incumbent Democrats the Tribune recommends include some of the most liberal representatives in Congress:
Bobby Rush, according to the nonpartisan National Journal, in 2005 voted more liberal on social policy issues than 96 percent of the Representatives.
Jesse Jackson, Jr., according to the same index, in 2005 voted more liberal on social policy issues than 86 percent of his colleagues.
"A federal grand jury has indicted Antoin 'Tony' Rezko, a top fundraiser for Gov. Rod Blagojevich, on charges that he demanded millions of dollars in kickbacks from investment firms seeking business from the state teachers' pension system, according to an indictment unsealed today."
The story describes Rezko as a "longtime Chicago developer and active supporter of Republicans and Democrats."
According to Newsmeat.com, which tracks Federal Election Commission data, between 2002 and 2004 Rezko made political contributions (not to Blagojevich) of $20,500. Every dollar went to Democratic candidates.
In his column on the decline and fall of morality on television this week, Brent Bozell applies scrutiny to the TV critics, a group of people often pushing and shoving the networks to shatter every moral barrier, break through every standard of taste. Showtime has a new series titled "Dexter," featuring actor Michael C. Hall in the title role, slobbered over by the critics for his role as the repressed gay funeral director in HBO's "Six Feet Under." This new show makes a hero out of a sadistic serial killer, because his insatiable desire to kill is channeled into killing other bad guys. During the day, he helps the cops catch other killers by assessing blood spatter patterns. Brent writes "He’s a sociopathic killer-slash-hero, with the emphasis on the slash – he carves his victims up to fit into Hefty bags." Here's more:
As pay-cable pioneers, always pushing the newest disgusting "edge" with an eye on extremely jaded TV critics, Showtime executives feel warm that they have brought more understanding to the world on behalf of the much-maligned serial killer. Said Showtime boss Robert Greenblatt: "This is a complex and fascinating look at serial killers, which, up to this point, have been marginalized and made two-dimensional."
Society has "marginalized" serial killers? Silly me. Here, all along, I thought those folks had done that to themselves.
The editorialists at the Chicago Tribune aren't ready yet to declare that Speaker Dennis Hastert has to be tossed aside, but before they get too high and mighty about the safety of teenagers from lecherous Members of Congress, we should recall that the Trib editorialized in favor of what would become Bill Clinton's last-minute pardon of Mel Reynolds, the convicted teen-sex/child-porn/obstruction of justice Democratic congressman. Headlined "Reynolds, Not Rosty, Needs Mercy," the Trib complained that disgraced Dan Rostenkowski didn't need the Clinton pardon, unlike Reynolds:
Mel Reynolds, elected in 1992 after knocking off 2nd District incumbent Gus Savage, was convicted on state charges related to his sexual relationship with a teenage girl, and then on federal charges of bank and campaign fraud. He's been locked up since October, 1995, first doing his state time and then going to federal prison to serve an unusually harsh 61/2-year sentence that, if nothing is done, will keep him behind bars until March, 2003 -- leaving his wife and three young children to fend for themselves.
The mainstream media not infrequently employs the word "archconservative." But if there are indeed archconservatives, are there not also archliberals? Not in the world of the Chicago Tribune. A computer check of the newspaper's archives for the past five years revealed not a single instance of "archliberal" being used.
I suspect that Mrs. Chenoweth-Hage would not have been surprised.
Today's Chicago Tribune carried a brief analysis of the new team on "Today." Wrote staffer Maureen Ryan:
"(Meredith) Vieira and (Matt) Lauer are an inspired pairing. They were even able to turn her flubs into jokes, the true sign of on-air chemistry. Early on, she messed up a line leading into a commercial. 'Redo! Redo!' Lauer yelped.
"No need. The warm Vieira fit right in with 'Today's' mix of frothy celebrity updates, tabloid stories and bits and bites of actual news."
Earlier in the piece, Ms. Ryan noted that "Hiring Vieira was clearly a smart move."
Such enthusiasm at the Tribune is usually reserved for Democratic Senator Barack Obama and other selected liberals.
On Newsbusters, we have been focusing on politics quite a bit of late. Of course, we have an election upcoming and a lot of serious forces of evil facing us effecting our foreign policy choices, so it is understandable. As the old Chinese curse goes; May you live in interesting times.
Anyway, that is all well and good, but we should not lose focus on the other, societal issues that we face on an ongoing basis where it concerns our Media and their inability to reflect the mores of the average citizen as well as the radical social agenda they constantly push.