CBS's "The Early Show," reported August 7 that a new stronger strain of the West Nile virus could spread across the country with help from the neglected pools found in foreclosed homes in California.
"Apparently ... as more and more homes are passing into foreclosure and there are many, and many of those homes have backdoor pools, these are being neglected," Dr. Alton Baron of Roosevelt Hospital Center told co-host Maggie Rodriguez. "They're not being maintained and this can become a ripe feeding ground and breeding ground for these mosquito populations."
Baron added that the new strain of the virus "invades the brain and spinal cord" and listed other horrific symptoms including nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, rashes, disorientation, severe muscle weakness, fatigue or even paralysis.
Mosquitoes, which breed in stagnant water, pass on West Nile to animals and humans when they feed off fowl that have the virus in their blood.
Foreclosures in the state of California may have hit a record high, but there are signs of a change-signs "The Early Show" ignored.
Former Chicago Alderwoman Arenda Troutman pleaded guilty yesterday (8/6/08) to felony counts of mail fraud and tax fraud. She faces up to 5 years in prison. The Chicago Tribune reported the story, and the Los Angeles Times published an edited version of the Trib's report.
Can you guess the one word that you won't find in either story? "Democrat." According to Wikipedia, "In 2006, Troutman was active in fundraising for Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and in 2002 was a campaign advisor for Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards."
Los Angeles Times's Tim Rutten is at it again. In an op-ed in today's paper (Wed. 8/6/08), Rutten buttresses a new book by author Ron Suskind and asserts that "Vice President Dick Cheney and his inner circle long have insisted" that Iraq was directly connected to the September 11 attacks.
Rutten's claim is an easy one to debunk. Here's Vice President Cheney in a Meet the Press interview with Tim Russert a mere five days after the September 11 attacks:
RUSSERT: Do we have any evidence linking Saddam Hussein or Iraqis to this operation? [Sept. 11 attacks]
VICE PRES. CHENEY: No.
Does it get any simpler than "No"?
Cheney's words also strike a major blow to a wild accusation in Suskind's new book.
E-mailer and frequent NB commenter Gary Hall sent me a link to a July 30 LA Times article about how worldwide AIDS deaths are down 10%.
In discussing the improvement, it's hysterical in one sense, but very sad in another, to watch how reporter Thomas H. Maugh II studiously avoided using the word "abstinence" (the A-word), which does not appear even once in his entire piece.
Just to be sure no reader could possibly leave the article thinking that the current administration has contributed to an overall improvement, Maugh pointed to the increased prevalance of AIDS in the US African-American community, and gave antagonistic spokespersons free rein to criticize an alleged lack of urgency without a countervailing response.
First, here's a sample of Maugh's A-word avoidance (noted in bold):
UPDATE, Aug. 6 -- The media fact-checker overview begins here, and continues below the fold:
"..... all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling" Obama refers to is NOT just the 200,000 additional barrels obtainable from the "Pacific, Atlantic and eastern Gulf regions." Republican proposals also include Alaska, shale oil, and tar sands.
Just including Alaska coastal at very conservative extraction assumptions leads to a potential of almost 1 million barrels of oil a day instead of only 200,000.
Fully ramped-up production from shale oil and tar sands at very conservative extraction assumptions would lead to a potential of another 27 million (you read that right) barrels a day.
The L.A.Times's Andrew Malcolm is so over come by Obamamania that he sees connections to his messiah everywhere, even in hospitals separated by hundreds of miles, from patients admitted days apart, with maladies and injuries that are completely dissimilar. And not just with ordinary everyday patients in those hospitals, but with two star studded actors who ended up in hospitals, one in Chicago and one in Tennessee. And guess what? They are both... gasp... OBAMA SUPPORTERS. Yes, I know how shocking it is that two actors can be admitted to hospitals after donating money to the Barack Obama campaign. After all, the mere fact that they gave the messiah money should have been enough of a talisman to have protected them at least until the elections, wouldn't ya think? I mean, isn't their messiah letting them down here?
Malcolm's tenuous connections between these two actors and Obama only serves to highlight his own obsession because the hospital stays of the two actors have absolutely no relation to each other. Actor Morgan Freeman was admitted to a Memphis, Tennessee hospital on August 4 suffering injuries from a car accident near his Mississippi home. Actor and comedian Bernie Mac was admitted to a Chicago, Illinois hospital on August 2 suffering from pneumonia.
If a journalist ever wanted to exhibit her spectacular ignorance and bias, the Los Angeles Times' Johanna Neuman performed with flying colors. In a recent blog post about the surprise congratulatory phone call from the Bush family to Rush Limbaugh's radio show, Neuman offered,
We imagine the reason the tape has not yet popped up on YouTube is that is was singularly lacking in the biting, mean-spirited, politically pointed invective for which Limbaugh is known and loved by millions.
"Mean-spirited"? "Invective"? Of course Neuman provides zero examples to support her claim. Has Neuman ever even listened to Limbaugh's program?
Amazingly (or maybe not), Neuman isn't just some dim liberal blogger. She's a newswriter for the paper's Washington bureau. Good ... grief.
On Friday, NewsBusters wondered how much attention media would pay to the Republican revolt that occurred after Speaker Pelosi adjourned the House for a five week vacation without allowing a vote on offshore oil drilling.
It turns out that if you rely on the evening news programs of the three broadcast networks, you didn't hear about this extraordinary event at all (photo courtesy AP).
And, if you're one of the few people that still reads newspapers, the one thrown on your driveway Saturday morning likely also ignored this story, or buried it well off the front page.
Conceivably the worst of the network offenders was the "NBC Nightly News" which actually addressed the fact that Congress adjourned without a vote on drilling, but completely ignored the GOP revolt that ensued afterwards (from closed captioning):
Posted on the Los Angeles Times's Web site is the story "John McCain ad irritates many in Hollywood." The referenced ad, of course, is the one that uses Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to portray Barack Obama as a shallow celebrity.
Despite the headline citing "many," only two Hollywood types are quoted. "'I didn't think McCain could look silly,' mused Norman Lear. 'But that ad diminishes him and makes him look silly.'" And publicist Howard Bragman criticizes the commercial as "inauthentic."
If there are so many people who are irritated, you wouldn't know it by this article, which mainly conveys how much Hollywood heart Obama. The piece reports McCain used to enjoy some popularity there:
McCain's latest attempt at discrediting his handsome, photogenic young rival particularly galls stars and executives with a memory, because only eight years ago, McCain was a fixture in Hollywood fundraising circles when he tried to raise money from the very people his ad now ridicules.
Let's get this straight: Michael Yon, a journalist who's been over in Iraq about as much as anybody, has declared, "[T]he Iraq War is over. We won." Even the Associated Press has admitted we are "now winning" in Iraq. The New York Times grudgingly concedes a "remarkable change" in Baghdad since a once-powerful Shiite army has lost its grip.
So what's the top-of-the-page headline in Sunday's Los Angeles Times (7/27/08)? "War on terror loses ground." (See an image of the actual paper. The on-line version adds the words "in Pakistan.")
How bad is the pro-Democratic bias at the Los Angeles Times? Here are two more examples ... from just the past 24 hours.
1. Slate's Mickey Kaus published a jaw-dropping item earlier today that the Los Angeles Times has banned its bloggers from writing about the reported affair between Sen. John Edwards and a blonde named Rielle Hunter. Kaus obtained a copy of an e-mail written by Times editor Tony Pierce. Wrote Pierce, "Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified."
Kaus reminds everyone that while the L.A. Times and the MSM have been pretty silent on this Edwards story, the New York Times was unafraid in running a front-page article last February that strongly insinuated an adulterous affair between John McCain and a lobbyist. Double standard? Absolutely.
2. The Los Angeles Times really, really, really wanted you to know that Barack Obama gave a speech in Germany yesterday. Check out the humungous front-page, full-color photo (almost 50 square inches; I reduced the size for easier viewing) from today's paper (Fri. 7/25/08).
CNN has admitted to a serious error in a report filed Thursday concerning a Republican student organization at the University of Southern California.
A segment which originally aired at 6:00 AM on "American Morning," and twice after that, used a person not affiliated with the USC College Republicans to suggest the organization is having a hard time drawing support because of a lack of enthusiasm for John McCain.
According to the Los Angeles Times "Top of the Ticket" blog, CNN has apologized (h/t NBer Tom):
The brute dishonesty is that the Times makes no mention of the fact that a spokesman for the prime minister immediately disputed the story and said comments from Nouri Maliki in a controversial interview in Germany's Der Spiegel magazine "were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately." (See CNN's "Iraqi PM disputes report on withdrawal plan," posted yesterday afternoon (7/19/08). HotAir also reports how Der Spiegel changed a key quote in the interview.)
The Los Angeles Times continues to demonstrate that it is simply unable to reliably provide truthful information about the Catholic faith. A June 27, 2008, book review in the Los Angeles Times, by staffer William Lobdell, falsely claims,
The concept of papal infallibility wasn't introduced until 1870, and the only infallible statement issued by a pope was in 1950 when Pius XII declared that Mary, upon her death, was assumed bodily into heaven.
There are two significant errors in this one sentence. First: Lobdell is wrong that the "concept of papal infallibility wasn't introduced until 1870." Although the doctrine was not formally defined until 1870 at the First Vatican Council, its "concept" (as Lobdell would say) can be traced back to the earliest years of the Church.
Remember the Boumediene decisions? The one where the Supreme Court ignored Congress' orders to strip them of jurisdiction? One of the major issues in this case was the fact that the Court trampled all over Congress' ability to determine the limits of judicial oversight. And virtually no mainstream 'news' organ picked up on that fact- nstead they universally trumpeted how the eeevil Bush Adminstraion had been forced to observe the law'. The LA Times, for example, wrote on their front page,
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected for the third time President Bush's policy of holding foreign prisoners under exclusive control of the military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ruling that the men have a right to seek their freedom before a federal judge. The justices said the Constitution from the beginning enshrined the "privilege of habeas corpus" -- or the right to go before a judge -- as one of the safeguards of liberty. And that right extends even to foreigners captured in the war on terrorism, the high court said, particularly when they have been held for as long as six years without charges.
. The article admits that Congress stripped jurisdiction from the judiciary in 2006, writing,
After that setback, the administration went to Congress, still under GOP control, and won a law authorizing trials through military commissions. The law also stripped all the foreign "enemy combatants" of their right to go to court via a writ of habeas corpus.
but clearly agreeing with the idea that foreign, unlawful combatants have more rights than lawful prisoners-of-war.
Readers of the Los Angeles Times could not miss the huge headline on the top of the front page on Wednesday (6/18/08): "Hundreds married on historic day" (print edition). In addition to the enormous headline, a whopping nine photos accompanied the Times's coverage of the first full day of legalized gay marriage in California.
One reader saw a clear case of bias by the Times. Here's his letter to the editor in yesterday's paper (6/20/08):
Re "Hundreds married on historic day," June 18
The only thing missing from this headline is the exclamation point. But the real tipoff was the picture of two women kissing on the front page. It was inappropriate for many reasons, but mostly because it demonstrates a case study in advocacy journalism.
San Francisco Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci dutifully dusted off the same liberal talking points we hear every four years about Republican nominees: the women in their own party hate them.
In her front page article, Marinucci found no conservative Republican women to defend McCain or critique him from the right, but she found three Republican, including Obama backer Susan Eisenhower, and two Democratic women to slam McCain.
But as might be expected in the liberal media, the largest reason these liberal Republican women won’t vote for McCain was chalked up to "women’s rights," code words for abortion. The article devoted a special section to McCain's stance on abortion. Of course this ignores the fact that millions of socially conservative Republican women backed equally pro-life candidates such as Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney in the primaries.
Yesterday, charges against another Marine officer accused of involvement in the Haditha "massacre" were dismissed. Today's Washington Post printed a story, but it was from Los Angeles Times writer Tony Perry, not a Post staffer. What's more, Perry's 10-paragraph story was printed on page A10 below-the-fold. [Check here for Perry's article* at the Times Web site.]
At least that was nine paragraphs longer than the "Around the Nation" brief that the June 5 print edition of the Post ran to relay news of the acquittal of another Haditha Marine:
Marine Acquitted in Iraq Case
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- A military jury acquitted Marine intelligence officer 1st Lt. Andrew Grayson of charges that he tried to help cover up the killings of 24 Iraqis in Haditha.
As we reported last year, a stunning undercover videotape surfaced that appeared to show a staffer at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles advising a woman whom she thought to be a 15-year-old girl to conceal a statutory rape. Even though this eye-opening episode happened right in the backyard of the Los Angeles Times, the paper did not publish a single story about it. Not one.
Yet last week (6/9/08), the Times published a glowing, front-page feature about a 15-year-old "sex ed girl." The impressionable young teen walks the streets of Los Angeles and speaks to other teens about "safe sex." In the most flattering of language, the Times beams, "She has memorized pages and pages of information on sex education and sexually transmitted diseases. She's ready to pass out cards from ... listing services and clinics. She is also armed with condoms." A pair of flattering, smiling photos of the teen accompanies the article.
Any guesses on which organization trained this poor girl?
Andreina is 15. She's been attending Planned Parenthood sex education events since the age of 13.
Using the sexual abuse scandal as a backdrop, a dissident former bishop from Australia, Geoffrey Robinson, has penned a book on the Catholic Church. As a Statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference clearly articulates, Robinson's book is riddled with serious theological and doctrinal concerns. The Conference also concluded that Robinson's book ultimately questions a number of Catholic fundamentals, including:
James Kirchick, assistant editor of The New Republic, has come under NewsBusters scrutiny for his bias before, of course. Our job is, we all know, to document and analyze that bias. But while we naturally focus on when the media get it wrong, we should have the maturity to point out when those who we criticize get it right. Here is a case when a member of the media that we usually criticize did, indeed, get it right and this time it might get him in Dutch with his lefty pals in the nutroots. After all, the surest way to get the nutroots upset at you is to say Bush did not lie about the war. But that is exactly what Kirchick just did and he did an admirable job chronicling it, too.
In an editorial in the L.A. Times on the 16th, Kirchick said that "Bush never lied to us about Iraq" and then went on to substantiate his claim in a style that runs contrary to the Media and nutroots meme that "Bush lied and people died."
Conservative criticism of Michelle Obama has no merit whatsoever and serves only as an outlet of right-wing hatred. That's the impression that Los Angeles Times reporter Robin Abcarian leaves readers with his June 11 story, "The GOP takes aim at Michelle Obama.":
They loved to hate Hillary Rodham Clinton. They loved to hate Teresa Heinz Kerry. And now, it appears, conservative voices are energetically taking on Michelle Obama.
"Mrs. Grievance" bellowed the cover of a recent National Review, which featured a photo of a fierce-looking Obama. The magazine's online edition titled an essay about her stump speech "America's Unhappiest Millionaire."
Michelle Malkin, the popular conservative blogger, called her "Obama's bitter half."
Try reading the following without busting out in uproarious laughter: the good folks at CNN see themselves as the "middle ground" between Fox News and MSNBC -- "the only news channel to give you all sides."
"No spin. No affiliation. No agenda."
Bet you can't.
Well, as hysterical as it might seem, such was asserted -- with a straight face, no less! -- in a Los Angeles Times piece Tuesday (emphasis added, h/t TVNewser):
Keith Olbermann is not good for the news industry.
Such was the opinion of former Los Angeles Times television critic and Pulitzer Prize winner Howard Rosenberg in a rather scathing article published Saturday.
Adding delicious insult to injury, Rosenberg didn't have very nice things to say about Chris Matthews, Dan Abrams, MSNBC, or that network's obvious love affair with Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama either.
Here were some of his candid observations (emphasis added, h/t TVNewser):
As of 11:05 p.m. EDT I found quite different play among some major newspaper Web sites regarding the verdict handed down by a Chicago jury against former Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko today. Both the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times gave prominent play to the story on their Web sites, and the Los Angeles Times similarly teased the story on its front page, four headlines down the left-hand column. But the New York Times downplayed the story while the Washington Post failed to tease it at all on the Web site's front page.
"Ex-Obama Fund-Raiser Is Convicted of Fraud" read a teaser headline under the "More News" menu on the NY Times Web page, about a quarter of the way down the page. A search through the Washington Post's online edition -- looking for keywords "Obama" "Rezko" and "Blagojevich" -- found no links to articles regarding Rezko's conviction, however.
Los Angeles Times staff writer James Rainey has an article today taking a look at the lack of love for John McCain on YouTube compared to the multiple hosannas found when searching for videos of the Obamessiah:
Search "John McCain" on YouTube and you'll find the latest broadside, by Brave New Films of Culver City, and a lot more that's not good for a candidate who's built his reputation on constancy and authenticity.
Six of the top 10 videos returned by a "John McCain" YouTube search Thursday pegged the 71-year-old as inconsistent, extreme, wooden or a combination of the three. (The one clearly favorable piece came from the McCain campaign and focused on his Navy service.)
Los Angeles Times media critic Tim Rutten, in his latest column titled "The rebirth of abortion," voiced his dismay that social conservatives are reviving the issue of abortion in the 2008 presidential campaign. "If there's one issue that epitomizes the culture wars that have so deeply divided American politics over the last eight years, it's abortion. That's why those who benefited most from those wars are desperate to revive abortion's single-issue virulence in this presidential cycle." He continued that "some on the right think they see an opportunity to hammer once more on the abortion wedge."
Rutten also launched an attack one key member of the so-called "hard cultural right:" Robert Novak. At one point, Rutten suggested that if Novak used a phrase like "abortion industry" to describe abortionists and their supporters, it would be legitimate to use a term like "under the sway of neo-fascist clericism" to describe Novak and his pro-life fellow travelers.
On the heels of last week's California Supreme Court decision to allow gay marriage, the Los Angeles Times conducted a poll. Today's paper (Fri. 5/23/08) blares the headline at the top of the front page, "Californians barely reject gay marriage" (print edition headline). "Barely"? Here are the poll's two main questions:
Q: Do you approve or disapprove of the California Supreme Court's decision last week to allow same-sex marriage in California?
Strongly disapprove: 42% and Somewhat disapprove: 10% Strongly approve: 29% and Somewhat approve: 12%
Q: A proposed amendment to the state Constitution that may appear on the November ballot would reverse the court's decision and state that marriage is only between a man and a woman. If the election were held today, would you vote for or against the amendment?
For: 54% ... Against: 35%
So voters "barely" reject gay marriage? Seems pretty cut-and-dry to me that Californians aren't too hip to last week's ruling.