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.
Michelle Malkin provides today’s LOL moment in supposed corporate conservatism. The Chicago Tribune reports that Miller Brewing paying out $30,000 to sponsor an illegal-alien advocacy march from Chicago to Denny Hastert’s office in Batavia. Their motto: “Live responsibly.” (Perhaps that might be contradicted a bit by the illegal immigrating.) What next? The coyotes bringing illegal aliens across the border with teams of Budweiser Clydesdales?
In the Tribune story, a Hispanic marketer warns: "A company sponsoring one of the two sides of the immigration debate is no different than a company sponsoring groups for or against abortion [rights]. It's one of those heated political debates that companies should stay clear of." You have to love the Tribune throwing "rights" in brackets after the word abortion. The Trib's headline calls this an "immigrant rights march."
Not since Dan Quayle or Spiro Agnew has there been a vice president that the MSM loved to hate so much. Now, the Chicago Tribune is even going so far as to pick apart vice president Cheney's verbal ticks and making fun, or even assigning perfidy to them.
In an article titled, Cheney's usage of `if you will' is `like' hedging, Tribune "cultural critic" Julia Keller, assumes that Cheney's over usage of the phrase "if you will" amounts to him verbally pausing while he thinks up another lie to tell the people, or at the very least amounts to the VP trying to sound smarter than he relly is.
Her piece is filled with jabs at the VP over a simple phrase ... the type of thing nearly everybody does everyday of their lives. I am sure if you think about your own language usage, you'd realize that you, too, have some phrase you use far too often. From the common "Umm", to "like", "You Know" (and its sister phrase, "you know what I mean"), to "cool" or "dude", many of us have such verbal ticks.
The front page of today's Chicago Tribune carries the headline: "Bush's vows after Katrina go unfulfilled, Critics: Washington `all windup, no pitch.'"
The principal critic cited is the dependably liberal historian Douglas Brinkley of Tulane University. "'The Bush administration, post-Katrina, has been all windup and no pitch. It's a low point in Bush's tenure,' says Brinkley."
The professor's credentials as an impartial observer are questionable. Here, after all, is a man who claims that Jimmy Carter "is seen as a national treasure - even by people who didn't like him as president." A man who asserted: "I think he'd (John Kerry) make a first-rate president." A man who wants to see Bill Clinton's reputation rehabilitated and says, "Hopefully, we'll have a fuller view and also understand that he's had a great many important strengths."
On the Chicago Tribune's front page today is the story of an illegal immigrant who's taken refuge in a Chicago church to avoid deportation. The headline is "Act of faith, defiance" and the article includes a color photo of the woman and her son.
Yesterday's Tribune coverage on the event noted: "The church's pastor, the Rev. Walter Coleman, said his congregation decided to offer Arellano refuge after praying about her plight.. . . 'She represents the voice of the undocumented, and we think it's our obligation, our responsibility, to make a stage for that voice to be heard,' he said."
Walter Coleman? Could that be Walter "Slim" Coleman, a longtime left wing activist? Yes, it is.
The Chicago Tribune may not be, as its competitor the Chicago Sun-Times can boast, a "proud sponsor of Gay Games VII," but you wouldn't know it by its coverage.
Last Sunday, the Tribune featured eight articles referencing the Gay Games. On Monday there were five and today there are three. In fairness, some of the articles have more to do with the weather than the games, but some pieces leave no question as to where the writer stands.
Columnist Mary Schmich, for example, writes: "It's been a generation since I knowingly met a gay person for the first time. A generation since the Gay Games started. A generation of huge, encouraging changes. And still not enough has changed."
According to Wallsten, the campaign be difficult for the congressman from "liberal Memphis," but "Ford argued that the old labels do
not apply -- not to this centrist, pro-war, anti-gay-marriage, deficit
hawk of a social conservative. . . "
Centrist? Let's see. For 2005, Mr. Ford received a score of 100 percent in the National Education Association's ratings. He was also perfect with the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees. The National Organization for Women gave him an 86, the AFL-CIO awarded him an 83 and he received a solid 80 from the Americans for Democratic Action.
Today's Chicago Tribune editorial, "How do you spell futility? FEMA," rightly condemns the estimated $1.4 billion in Hurricane Katrina relief funds that were wasted on items such as "jewelry, Caribbean vacations, pro football tickets, pornographic videos, divorce lawyer fees and a sex-change operation." It points out that Government Accountability Office auditors say that almost one in every six dollars targeted for aid ended up in the hands of swindlers.
The Tribune fails to mention that one possible reason for fraud was harsh criticism that FEMA wasn't dishing out the bucks fast enough.
An example of that was a September 8, 2005 Tribune editorial titled "When governments fail citizens." The editorial noted: "The initial federal response, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was a tangle of red tape." Moreover, it stated that help was delayed "while FEMA bureaucrats dither(ed) over paperwork."
Included on today's Chicago Tribune's front page is the article "Hillary." In it, national correspondent Lisa Anderson speculates on the possibility of Senator Clinton transferring her apparent popularity in New York State to the 2008 presidential election.
One of the people interviewed is the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. He points out: "19 percent (of those polled) think, right now, that she's doing a poor job. The Hillary-haters are still there. The people who were willing to give her a chance, she won over."
Also quoted is a Baruch College professor who states: "There's going to be an irreducible number of Hillary-haters, no matter what she does. Whether she changes water into wine or parts the Red Sea, they ain't voting for her."
Prosecutors believe they have DNA evidence to tie a third Duke lacrosse player to the alleged attack on a 27-year-old exotic dancer, news outlets in Durham reported Thursday.
The local ABC affiliate, citing sources, reported that the third player is the same person who was identified with "90 percent" certainty by the alleged victim in a photo lineup. That lineup was conducted by police weeks after the March 13 off-campus lacrosse team party where the alleged incident took place.
Saturday's Chicago Tribune includes a front page story titled, "The Bill they can't stomach: Voting Clinton's boyhood home a historic site too much for these 12 angry lawmakers." The article, written by senior correspondent William Neikirk, doesn't support the headline.
Yes, twelve Republican congressmen did vote against a bill, which passed with 409 votes, to name the former president's birthplace a national historic site. But characterizing them as "angry" isn't justified, at least not by anything appearing in the article. The closest thing to "angry" was a comment made by one opponent of the Clinton site that, "Maybe it should be a landmark. He is only the second president to be impeached." But that ranks pretty far down on the anger scale.
Writing in today's Chicago Tribune, author and former Tribune political writer Jon Margolis begins his "Tribal America defends right to ignore facts" by flatly asserting: "The flap over intelligent design poses a special quandary for us Americans. Our puzzlement has nothing to do with the merits of the intelligent design argument. There are none."
Having established where he's coming from, Margolis then moves on to criticize rock celebrity Ted Nugent for criticizing actress Pam Anderson: "Aha! An object for the anger, the artificially enhanced TV star who has supported People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an animal-rights group that opposes hunting." Three sentences later, Margolis states that "there is no visible anti-hunting movement."
As Harry Belafonte proclaimed at Duke University that American policies were based on "the demise of the poor," and Sen. Barack Obama declared on ABC that the GOP has "a very narrow agenda that advantages the most powerful," what about their own cozy fortunes?
Laura Ingraham noted today a report from the Wall Street Journal. Belafonte’s suffering from declining millionaire real-estate values:
Belafonte Cuts His Price
ENTERTAINER Harry Belafonte last month cut the price of his Manhattan apartment by $2 million, to $13 million. The Upper West Side co-operative, which he's owned for more than 40 years, went on the market last August. The 17-room home, facing Riverside Park on the western edge of Manhattan, has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a library and four fireplaces.
Last September Mr. Belafonte, 78, sold his Mediterranean-style house in the Caribbean for $2.2 million. He bought that 3.3-acre property, in the French-administered part of St. Martin, in 1982. It has four bedrooms, gardener and caretaker cottages and a pool. Maria Pascal and Richard Mortimer of Prudential Douglas Elliman have the Manhattan listing. The price cut comes as the Manhattan real-estate market is showing signs of cooling...
Okay, please take this with a grain of Cheesehead salt, but um, I have a reason why conservatives could root for the Carolina Panthers against those dreaded Chicago Bears today. Bears QB Kyle Orton? Big liberal. In the midst of some research into the weird absence of the words "Kerry" and "Hillary" within 50 words of each other in the fall of 2004, I came across this USA Today piece, where an Orton teammate at Purdue related, "He said that if John Kerry doesn't get elected, he's going to throw himself headlong into the Hillary Clinton camp." The report had more detail:
Now he understands that Orton's success on the football field could one day be seen as the introduction of an ambitious liberal democrat to a larger audience.
In today's front page story on Bobby Rush, "Pastor Rush stirs hope, skeptics in Englewood," the Chicago Tribune describes the Illinois Democrat as a "former militant Black Panther turned mainstream Democratic congressman."
One wonders what the Tribune considers mainstream.
Rush's voting record in Congress, as measured by assorted special interest groups, reflects little in the way of moderation. In their most recent evaluations, for example, the National Abortion Reproductive Rights Action League awarded him a 100 percent rating. The National Taxpayers Union gave him a puny 11 percent while Americans for Tax Reform ranked him at 10 percent.
Getting a 100 percent rating from the American Civil Liberties Union, the AFL-CIO, Americans for Democratic Action, and the National Education Association, Rush received a zero percent rating from the American Conservative Union and the National Rifle Association, and 10 percent rankings from both the American Security Council and Citizens Against Government Waste.
Picking up where we left off, here are the judges' picks for worst Quote of the Year during the Slick Willie era.
Onward, Christian Mouth-Breathers, 1993: "Corporations pay public relations firms millions of dollars to contrive the kind of grass-roots response that Falwell or Pat Robertson can galvanize in a televised sermon. Their followers are largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command." -- Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf, February 1 news story.
Hurray, Grown Men Can Weep, 1994: "Around the global village, women cheered and grown men wept. At his press conference, [Gold medal-winning speed skater Dan] Jansen paused to take a call from the President, the man who's made America safe again for tears." -- Newsweek Senior Writer David A. Kaplan, February 28 news story.
Today's Chicago Tribune notes that Kwanzaa was created "by African-American scholar Maulana Karenga." A check of the Tribune's own archives discloses that he could have been characterized somewhat differently.
On October 7, 1970 the newspaper reported: "Black militant Ron Karenga was arrested with three of his followers today on charges he tortured two young women with a soldering iron and a vise. . .Investigators said the women were held at gunpoint, forced to disrobe and were beaten. At one point, it was charged, Karenga forced a hot soldering iron inside the mouth of one of the victims while the other woman's toe was squeezed in a vise."