In the last election cycle, Rolling Stone was one of the magazines to feature Obama covers repeatedly (one with a God-like aura). This might be the only reason why anyone would suggest to the magazine that Matt Taibbi's unhinged rants (badly disguised as political journalism) that they re-read Obama's speech in Tucson on civility.
The Houston Chronicle offers a handy summary of all of Taibbi's textual tantrums. The article is titled “Rick Perry: The Best Little Whore In Texas” and the subhead is “The Texas governor has one driving passion: selling off government to the highest bidder”. Amanda Russo noted "Taibbi compares the Republican presidential candidate to an undertaker, a prostitute, a male underwear model, a serial killer AND Adolf Hitler. Bet you’ve never seen all those things in one article before."
And the problem is unusually cold weather in Houston to the extent that city had its earliest recorded snowfall on Friday. Plus much of the rest of Texas also had quite cold weather which caused the cancellation of a global warming lecture at the University of Texas in Austin.
Here is the e-mail received by the Houston Chronicle SciGuy blogger Eric Berger:
Global Warming lecture postponed due to cooling
Given the travel advisories issued and the likelihood of freezing weather for the Austin area tomorrow evening, we are postponing the December 4 event, Global Warming - Lone Star Impacts.
The contrast between the virtual silence of major news outlets on Green Jobs Czar Van Jones’s belief in the Bush Administration’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks and the hubbub made about those who believe the President is not an American citizen casts light on the politicized attitudes of the mainstream media.
NewsBusters has noted how the story has been ignored by the television media. Byron York in the Washington Examiner Friday noted that a Nexis news search for the Van Jones ‘truther’ controversy turns up exactly zero results from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and transcripts from ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, and CBS Evening News (though that newscast aired a full story Friday night).
So, as York noted, anyone who gets his or her news from one of these sources, or all five, is unaware that the President’s Green Jobs Czar is not only a self-avowed communist but also a supporter of the truther movement, which means he believes that the Bush Administration was complicit in—even orchestrated—the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Topside Update, 2:15 p.m.: Imagine that -- Roxana Mayer was also an Organizing For America "host" during the Texas primary last year.
Anyone visiting here even semi-regularly knows that the establishment media consistently fails to determine the legitimacy of people who "say the right things." Further, when someone else, often a blogger, digs and finds the truth, the reporters and publications involved may sometimes grudgingly acknowledge it, but even then usually incompletely; and more often than not, they won't give credit where due.
This all-too-typical scenario has played out in the past two days in the case of a certain Roxana Mayer. In two posts (here and here), LA-area blogger Patterico, best known for his relentless skewering of the target-rich environment known as the Los Angeles Times, exposed Ms. Mayer, who claimed to be a doctor when she spoke at a town hall meeting held by Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (and who later hugged her, as seen at the top right), as a leftist fraud.
As Patterico noted in the title of his second post, Mayer's mantra ought to be "I’m Not a Doctor But I Play One at Town Hall Meetings." Patterico also showed that Mayer was also a Texas Obama delegate at last year's Democratic Convention.
At first, the Houston Chronicle took Mayer's word that she is a doctor, failed to investigate her bona fides, and reported the following:
Jumping ship from jobs-shedding print and broadcast outlets to Democratic campaigns or administrations seems to be the favored bailout package of liberal journalists these days.
The latest example comes today in a news release from the exploratory committee of Texas Democrat Tom Schieffer, younger brother to CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob "Boners" Schieffer. In an April 2 press release, the gubernatorial hopeful heartily welcomed longtime print journalist Clay Robison -- praising him as "a reporter's reporter" -- aboard his staff as Director of Communications (h/t NewsBusters contributor Seton Motley).:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was honored Saturday night in Houston by America’s leading provider of abortions, with an award named for a woman who believed the population of inferior races should be trimmed, and Texas newspapers kept their headlines bland. "Clinton honored for support of women’s rights," said the Dallas Morning News over an AP dispatch. "Clinton champions women’s rights worldwide," cooed the Houston Chronicle. AP’s Juan Lozano offered few highlights (or lowlights) of the speech, but it was a bit shocking to see Mrs. Clinton equate anti-abortion advocacy and anti-democratic politics:
HOUSTON — Helping women’s reproductive and health rights flourish is an important part of U.S. efforts to develop democracy around the world and defeat extremism, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said during a speech Friday.
"A society that denies and demeans women’s rights and roles is a society that is more likely to engage in behavior that is negative, anti-democratic and leads to violence and extremism," Clinton said at Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s national conference in Houston.
Today’s version of our exercise, in which we dissect the media’s attempts at interjecting bias into a simple headline, may stun some of you.
The shocking aspect? The Washington Post didn’t partake in the liberal doctoring of the headline. Let’s take a look…
The Pentagon just released a report entitled ‘Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq,’ which highlights a decline in violence in the country in 2008.
Surprisingly enough, the WaPo ran this headline:
Violence Declines Further in Iraq
While positive news in a Post headline is a bit hard to believe, they did include the following sub-headline, managing to interject that ol’ liberal pessimism we’re more accustomed to:
Pentagon Report Cites Factors That Could Rekindle Attacks
That said, we have to give them some credit for combining the positive and negative into one headline, making it less biased than their competitors. Observe…
I'm sure by now we are all aware of the Netroots Nation conference that happened in Austin, Texas last weekend. Well, did you know that without Al Gore it wouldn't have happened? That's right, since Al Gore invented the Internet... I know, I know, that is the old Al Gore joke where he famously claimed that he invented the World Wide Web. Everyone knows that Al Gore had little to do with the Internet, of course. But at least one person, obviously one rather easy to bamboozle, still thinks Al Gore did invent the Internet and one paper is happy to help her tell the world about it. In fact she thinks he invented all the technology inherent in that Internet. And she is currently the Speaker of the House of Representatives, sadly enough.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi attended the Nutrooters gathering and, as reported in the Houston Chronicle, let loose with this gem while introducing Al Gore to those assembled: "Without him, there would be no Netroots Nation. There wouldn't be the technology."
Huh? Without Al Gore "there wouldn't be the technology" to have an Internet based gathering like Netroots Nation?
The global warming alarmism in the mainstream media never ceases to stop as "The Houston Chronicle" went so far to warn of a spike in kidney stone cases. Yes, driving an SUV can now cause pain in the back as well as the pump.
In a July 14 article, "Got kidney stones? Blame global warming study says," reporter Eric Berger warned "the prevalence of kidney stones may rise by 30 percent." The line of reasoning behind the study is that as temperatures warm, people sweat more without adequate fluids to replace and thus create more kidney stone cases.
Surprisingly, the article did contain some balance noting "some global warming skeptics"- (they didn’t even use the pejorative term "deniers.") -"also note that the U.S. Southeast has actually cooled during the last century" and even quoted skeptic Rob Bradley of the Institute for Energy Research.
Berger then immediately refuted Mr. Bradley and warned of an "increase in tropical diseases such as malaria."
So global warming "deniers" beware, you will not only have blood on your hands, but in your toilets.
Has the media's love affair with Barack Obama gone too far?
CNN's Howard Kurtz seems to think so, for on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," the Washington Post columnist strongly took issue with how press outlets reported last week's news that the Democrat presidential nominee was going back on a campaign promise to accept public funds:
And all these liberal commentators who have always supported campaign finance reform, getting big money out of politics, many of them are defending Obama. And I have to think the press is cutting him a break here.
Better still, as the following partial transcript demonstrates, getting guests Lola Ogunnaike of CNN, Julie Mason of the Houston Chronicle, and Anne Kornblut of the Washington Post to agree with him was like pulling teeth (file photo right):
During the 1992 presidential campaign, when incumbent Vice President Dan Quayle made a spelling mistake, the New York Times was all over it. It's clear from the Times's story that the rest of the media was also in full pursuit:
So Jay Leno has a week's worth of new Dan Quayle jokes. At a school here, everyone was quite hush-hush the day after the visiting Vice President spelled potato wrong while directing a spelling bee.
..... Reporters stood around today for hours outside of the house where 12-year-old William Figueroa lives. He has become a national celebrity for having spelled the word correctly on the blackboard, only to have Mr. Quayle, holding a flash card with the word spelled incorrectly, encourage him to add an E at the end.
I noted a few weeks ago (at BizzyBlog; at NewsBusters) that Mike Celizic at MSNBC couldn't get though his article about Jenna Bush's upcoming wedding without bringing up her misdemeanor arrests from seven years ago.
Julie Mason of the Houston Chronicle also went there in a late Thursday report. She also threw in a number of shots at Jenna's father, his administration, and his hometown:
Saturday, in an Oscar de la Renta gown with twin sister Barbara at her side, Jenna Bush, 26, will marry 29-year-old business school student Henry Hager at her parents' Central Texas ranch.
It's probably as close as Oscar de la Renta will ever get to Crawford.
Old Media business reporters have a definitionally-incorrect habit of labeling single industries or economic sectors as being "in recession," when the term, as defined here, can only describe national economies or the world economy. Two examples of this are New York Times reporter David Leonhardt's description of manufacturing as being in recession in February 2007 (laughably incorrect, in any event), and the Times's employment of the term "housing recession" 25 times since October 2006, as seen in this Times search (with the phrase in quotes).
But if I wanted to be consistent with this routine form of journalistic malpractice, I would characterize the newspaper business -- at least in terms of the top 25 in the industry's food chain -- not as being in recession, but instead as going through a deep, dark, painful, protracted depression.
Houston Chronicle blogger Bob Cavnar needs to take some time off, or lay off the caffeine, or maybe someone should gently tell him that the black helicopters aren't following him after all. Whatever the case, Cavnar used his April 19th posting to go off on a wild eyed rant that is so twisted that it ends up blaming Republicans and Mickey Mouse for the fact that Barack Obama isn't patriotic enough to wear an American flag lapel pin! This is just another hilarious example of the overheated far left's panty bunching extravaganza that we've seen since the ABC debate aired.
During the last Democratic presidential debate, a woman from Pennsylvania was shown on videotape pointing out that Barack Obama refuses to wear an American flag lapel pin unlike most of the other candidates who do from time to time and Cavnar has decided that some dark, Obama hating conspiracy at ABC pushed this woman into the debate.
A few days before Eliot Spitzer went down in flames, a highly-connected Barack Obama* [Update: Kilpatrick has not committed to Obama] superdelegate was mired in accusations of corruption, bid-rigging and a dead-stripper sex scandal. Usually the media love to report the downfall of party bigwigs, but not in the case of Detroit's youngest mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Much of the media downplayed the mayor's scandals and did not report his party, let alone his status as a Democratic power player who can influence the election.
Kwame, who is the son of Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), is not just any mayor. He was a Democratic rising star, who spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and is the superdelegate to the 2008 convention thanks to his position as Vice President of the Conference of Democratic Mayors.
But now “The First Hip Hop Mayor” is in serious trouble, with members of the city council calling for his resignation. Controversy has engulfed his two terms, and the latest bout involves a report that his wife assaulted a now-dead stripper whose shooting is still unsolved. At the same time, the mayor's longtime pal Bobby Ferguson won at least $45 million in city contracts while reportedly receiving inside information from Kilpatrick and his chief of staff.
The New Year was perhaps an hour old when a road rage incident resulted in unpleasant consequences. The Associated Press reported:
In an apparent case of road rage, a motorist shot a driver to death who threatened him with a baseball bat.1
In this incident, the attacker, Tomas Garza, first drove his automobile "aggressively", trying to hit Brian Correa's car. When both drivers stopped at a traffic light, Garza got out of his car and hit Correa's car "several times" with a baseball bat. When Correa told Garza to stop, Garza instead "began toward" Correa, at which point Correa used his handgun to defend himself, killing Garza. The police reported that Correa was licensed to carry concealed.2
San Antonio police spokesman Sergeant Gabe Trevino stated: "It was apparent to us that he was defending himself." There were "several witnesses" to corroborate Correa's story, leading the police to conclude that the shooting was justified.3
It is understandable, but not forgivable, that business reporters at Old Media newspapers might think that the economy is in bad shape. They first have to get past how poorly most of their employers are doing. The industry as a whole has not been doing well, and it's been that way for quite some time.
This table illustrates that point (September 30, 2007 figures are at this post, which originally came from this Editor & Publisher article, which will soon disappear behind its firewall; March 31, 2005 figures were estimated in reverse using annual percentage changes reported as of March 31, 2006, because older data I thought would remain available no longer is):
Today's Washington Post story about the latest legal filings in a securities case echoes the bias of liberal blogs and publications on the case.
The Post leads the story this way:
The Bush administration yesterday sided with accountants, bankers and lawyers seeking to avoid liability in corporate fraud cases, arguing that investors must show they lost money after relying on deceptions by third parties in order to proceed with private lawsuits.
"The Bush administration yesterday sided with U.S. manufacturers and their 14 million employees, arguing against a reinterpretation of securities law that could lead to an explosive rise in litigation."
This story seems nothing more that another person's exercising his right to defend life and property, something that most people in Texas heartily support. But the lead paragraph from a Houston Chronicle article raises a warning flag:State Rep. Borris Miles, who voted earlier this year against a bill broadening Texans’ rights to defend themselves with deadly force, shot and wounded a man he said was trying to steal copper from a palatial house he is building in the Third Ward.1
The article notes that this is a success story for concealed carry, but also emits more warning signals about proper self-defense protocols:
In this June 4 article, the AP worked hard to leave out something very important but very basic in an article about Democratic US Representative William Jefferson’s 16-count bribery indictment. What the AP left out was any identification of Jefferson’s party affiliation. In almost 30 paragraphs, no where is there any hint of what party Jefferson belongs to, not even a “(D-LA).”
When a politician is in trouble and the party is not identified, it a safe bet to assume that the missing letter is a Big “D,” as in this AP piece.
How were other politicians identified? Nancy Pelosi is identified as “Pelosi, D-Calif.” John Boehner is identified as “House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio.” But Jefferson is not a Democrat, just “Louisiana congressman William Jefferson.” Strange how that works, huh?
Since party is usually identified in the first paragraphs, the AP had many opportunities to note that Jefferson is a Democrat and simply did not (emphasis mine):
Hugo Chavez is simultaneously acting as Bull Connor (fire hoses/water cannons) and Gustav Husak (deploying tanks against his own people), yet what little Old Media coverage there is seems to want to avoid those elements of the story.
At 11:00 a.m. Sunday, Gateway Pundit blogged on Venezuela's virtual dictator sending in tanks to intimidate opponents demonstrating against a government-planned closure of one of the country's last independent TV outlets. An underlying post at Publius Pundit that GP linked to shows the tanks in place, and has a time stamp of 2:09 a.m.
The Formerly Mainstream Media is favorably transfixed on the proposed immigration "reforms" being whipped through Congress -- legislation that opponents characterize as "amnesty."
"Somehow," they have managed to virtually ignore immigration-related legislation that has actually become law in Oklahoma.
Perhaps it's because Oklahoma's reforms have nothing to do with "amnesty," and everything to do with enforcement.
Specifically, from a May 8 Associated Press story on the bill's passage:
Governor Henry today signed a sweeping immigration reform bill that was passed overwhelmingly by the Oklahoma Legislature, but described it as a stopgap measure until the federal government takes action on the issue.
Among other things, the bill contains employment, labor law and civil rights provisions to protect citizens and legal immigrants who lose their jobs at companies that employ illegal immigrants to perform the same or similar work.
Beginning in November, public agencies will be required to use a program that screens Social Security numbers to make sure they are real and that they match up with a job applicant's name.
A One News Now story provided more detail. It also makes it clear that the sponsor of the legislation believes that the states have more power to enforce immigration law than the "it's the Feds' problem" types would like us to believe (bold is mine):
Where did he go wrong? Syndicated sports columnists Norman Chad was trying to lecture that there were not enough black sports editors in America, only 4 of 305. As Tim Graham noted, he even managed to get in a dig at Newt Gingrich: "We're whiter than Newt Gingrich's Fourth of July barbecue."
But later in the piece, he said he knew one of those few black editors, Garry D. Howard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
I actually know one of them pretty well — Garry D. Howard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which carries my column.
I noticed Howard was black the first time we met, largely because of his skin color. But once I got by that I realized he spoke English somewhat satisfactorily and understood sports and journalism reasonably well.
The Houston Chronicle hits a home-run with this sap-fest on Illegal Immigration, delivering one sympathetic story after another on how mean the US border control policies are to people breaking the law.
So, we get to hear about a "Mexican youth who washes windshields for tips on Brownsville streets," and a "group of men who waded the Rio Grande." One public defender quoted in the Chronicle complains that "you have a guy who washes car windshields, and now he's facing a (potential) felony." Certainly he isn't facing a felony for washing windows, and probably for illegall entering the country, but I guess that is a different point for a different day.
The Chronicle then seems shocked to learn that enforcing the border will, in turn, need an increase in people actually enforcing the border:
With little fanfare, the Houston Chronicle reported that Vice President Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, had been awarded a contract to assist in post-Katrina cleanup efforts:
The Navy has hired Houston-based Halliburton Co. to restore electric power, repair roofs and remove debris at three naval facilities in Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Halliburton subsidiary KBR will also perform damage assessments at other naval installations in New Orleans as soon as it is safe to do so.
Given the media’s fascination with this company, along with the ongoing insinuations that the war in Iraq has been a financial boon for Halliburton, one has to wonder how this announcement will be disseminated by a currently scandal-hungry press.