An article in today's Los Angeles Times (Mon. 9/17/07) addressed criminal charges being filed in Kansas against the infamous late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller. According to the article, Tiller faces 19 counts of "aborting viable fetuses without first consulting an independent physician as required by state law."
As often is the case, the Times is unable to control itself in presenting a misleading and biased story. And not surprisingly, the culprit in this journalistic craftiness is Stephanie Simon, whose work we've reported on in the past here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. This time:
As NB's Ken Shepherd wrote yesterday (Tue. 9/11/07, here), MSNBC reported on some harsh and offensive remarks spewed from comedienne Kathy Griffin during an acceptance speech set to air on an awards show. (Read the story here.) Yet when they reported the story, MSNBC left out the most inflammatory words that Griffin voiced. And if you picked up today's Los Angeles Times (Wed. 9/12/07), the paper did the exact same thing.
The Times quoted the exact same words that MSNBC did. And like MSNBC, they made no reference to Griffin's most offensive words of her speech: "Suck it, Jesus. This award is my God now."
Antonio Villaraigosa is not some small-town mayor. The former president of the ACLU of Southern California leads one of the largest cities in the Western hemisphere. He's graced the cover of Newsweek magazine. Hillary Clinton was thrilled to win Antonio's endorsement, and she appointed him to be a national co-chair of her campaign (link/link). Did I mention that he's a Democrat?
So wouldn't it be fairly big news that the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission fined the mayor $5,200 for 30 campaign violations related to his 2003 run for a District council seat?
Apparently, the folks at the Los Angeles Times did not see it as such a big deal. They buried the story in the "Los Angeles County 'In Brief'" section with a puny 148 words on page B4 (story) (see an image of the article here).
The Los Angeles Times has an article today (Mon. 9/10/07) about a new law in Missouri. It dictates that all of Missouri's abortion mills be properly stocked with medical equipment and have adequately wide doorways and hallways to handle emergencies. Abortionists are raising a stink because renovations to their facilities could be burdensomely costly. The law would also apply to clinics who solely issue the abortion pill.
In reporting the story, the Times completely omits some important facts about the abortion pill. Since it was approved for use in the United States in 2000, Mifepristone (Mifeprex/RU-486/"the abortion pill") is "associated with the deaths of at least 8 women, 9 life-threatening incidents, 232 hospitalizations, 116 blood transfusions, and 88 cases of infection. There are more than 950 adverse event cases associated with RU-486 out of only 575,000 prescriptions, at most" (emphasis mine) (source, US House of Representatives hearing, May/Oct. 2006).
The Los Angeles Times's love affair with Barack Obama continues to writhe hot and heavy. We've reported on it in the past here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The paper continued its string of flattering, adulatory profiles of Obama yesterday (Sat. 9/8/07) with a generous, front-page, 2100+-word piece. With the article are two photos, including a nice full-color pic of Barack and his wife Michelle enjoying a smooch (see images of the article here and here). As with other pieces the paper has run on Obama, any unflattering episodes about the candidate are downplayed or excused.
"The Path to 9/11," ABC's five-hour miniseries from earlier this year, is still not out on DVD and now the film's screenwriter is claiming that ABC is blocking the release of the DVD to save Hillary and Bill Clinton the embarrassment they suffered when the show originally aired on TV. Why would ABC do this? Because we are at the beginning of Hillary Clinton's run for president and ABC wants to keep the Clinton's failures against radical Islam from coming to the fore says series writer Cyrus Nowrasteh.
As in the Tribune write-up, Arellano's conviction for Social Security fraud was buried deep into the article (paragraph 11).
After giving Joseph Turner of the Federation for American Immigration Reform some token space to applaud the arrest and deportation, reporters Sonia Nazario and David Pierson devoted the rest of the article to a dispute amongst illegal immigration advocates about how far they should go in challenging federal authorities:
Ron Brownstein is a liberal. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.
On Sunday, the national affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times, a liberal notwithstanding, went on NBC's "Meet the Press" to discuss the just-announced imminent departure of Karl Rove from the White House.
Like many of the really disingenuous liberal shills in the media, Brownstein chose to ignore extremely pertinent facts as he disparaged the soon-to-be-former Administration member:
Today's Los Angeles Times op-ed page item "The art of war" contains drawings on the subject of the Iraq war done by students of visual arts teacher Steve Brodner at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. The drawing displayed here, of Pres. Bush in a bubble floating over a mound of skulls, typifies the attitudes expressed, all of which are opposed to the war and the Bush administration in one form or other.
Perhaps as telling as the drawings is this statement by Brodner that accompanies them:
The pieces reprinted here -- including one I did myself -- are the result of a group project I assigned. I felt that while they were in my class, students should focus on what I believe to be the most urgent issue of our time: the Iraq war.
The call from the Ivory Tower just wasn't strong enough to stop media mogul Rupert Murdoch from buying Dow Jones & Company. But, it came really close.
"Murdoch also said the media's harsh coverage of him during negotiations with the Bancroft family, which controls Dow Jones, almost squashed the deal," wrote New York Post reporter Peter Lauria in the August 9 New York Post.
The Los Angeles Times reports in the August 3 paper that "Los Angeles television newscaster Mirthala Salinas was suspended without pay for two months — but not dismissed — Thursday from KVEA-TV Channel 52 for covering Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa while they were romantically involved, a relationship that journalism experts said damaged the station's credibility."
But wait, there's more. The Telemundo reporter (pictured at right with Villaraigosa*) apparently has a history of dating Southern California Democratic politicians:
Her affair with Villaraigosa was an open secret in KVEA's Burbank newsroom and in the mayor's office at City Hall. Salinas also had dated Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) when he was divorced — and before he remarried his wife — as well as former Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla, now a state senator.
If anyone in the media blames the Minnesota bridge collapse on "cheap Republicans" who like tax cuts, it would not be the first time. In 1989, after a memorable San Francisco earthquake, an interstate highway bridge collapsed and killed hundreds. Media figures demanded new taxes, and some even suggested the Proposition 13 ballot initiative may have caused unnecessary deaths. We reported in the November 1989 MediaWatch:
As aftershocks rumbled through the San Francisco Bay area, media figures began calling for more taxes. On the October 18 Nightline, Ted Koppel asked an agreeable Democratic politician from California: "We all remember a few years ago Proposition 13 which rolled back taxes. And at the same time the point was made you roll back the taxes, that's fine, but that means there are going to be fewer funds available for necessary projects. Any instances where the money that was not spent because of the rollback of Proposition 13 where money would have made a difference?"
A July 26, 2007, Los Angeles Times article by Stephanie Simon (whose work we've addressed in the past here, here, here, here, here, and here) claims there's been a "striking shift" by Democrats on the issue of abortion. She also asserts, "Democrats in Congress and on the campaign trail have begun to adopt some of the language and policy goals of the antiabortion movement." Simon's article is entitled, "Democrats shift approach on abortion," and if the folks at the DNC aren't laughing their pants off, they're certainly not complaining.
One alert reader noticed a big problem with the piece: The President did not do what the headline said he did. Here's a letter to the editor from the July 29 Times:
Nowhere in your article headlined "Bush ties Al Qaeda in Iraq to Sept. 11" (July 25) does the president do any such thing. Nor has he done so anywhere else. Instead, he has made an argument that, at present, Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda has some operational control over Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Death and taxes may be the only certainties in life, but journalists’ support for higher taxes is almost as predictable.
Actions that liberals dislike, such as smoking, eating the "wrong" food, and spewing carbon earn media support for tax increases.
Right now, the media are promoting a “bipartisan” bill in Congress that would expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by raising tobacco taxes sky-high.
“Senate Panel Adds Billions For Health,” announced a headline from the July 20 New York Times. The headline sent a positive message that people’s health would be improved, rather than the honest message that the bill calls for a 156-percent tax increase on cigarettes, and a more than 20,000-percent increase on cigars (up to $10 per cigar).
As most media have unsurprisingly cheered the Democrats' recent moves to either bring back the Fairness Doctrine, or prevent its prohibition, the Los Angeles Times has presented itself as a beacon of sanity in the midst of a clear lack thereof.
In fact, instead of the prevalent, pointless, press pontifications about equal opportunity on the airwaves, and ensuring the public hears both sides of the debate, Tuesday's Times editorial - bravely entitled "The Unfairness Doctrine" - spoke the truth about the extraordinary access the citizenry currently have to diverse views on all subjects.
With that in mind, prepare yourself for an alternate media reality (emphasis added throughout):
As Tim Graham notes in his report on the passing of Tammy Faye Bakker-Messner, liberal MSMers of the past loved to portray the woman as the "very model of Reagan's Decade of Greed," but Graham made me wonder how the media is reporting her passing, at least during this early morning time as the country wakes to the news.
Of course, I have also observed Mr. Graham's reporting on how Tammy Faye was treated in the past. She has been reviled for many years, though recently seems to have gained a sort of kitschy popularity. So, I admit that I went in assuming that the MSM would unleash their worst comments on her passing and thinking that the MSM would use her death as just another excuse to attack her in their common, mean-spirited fashion. But, I was surprised upon finding that most of these early reports have shied away from the "decade of greed" tagline to her life and have refrained form gauche personal attacks.
After a Los Angeles judge agreed on Monday (7/16/07) to the $660 million settlement between 508 individuals and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, several plaintiffs stood outside the courthouse in front of a throng of television and newspaper reporters. Many told incredibly sad and horrific stories of the immense suffering they've endured over the years as a result of the despicable abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy.
But what about the priests who have adamantly denied the charges made against them and whose cases may never have had any evidence against them? This past week the Los Angeles Times and others have been largely silent in this regard.
For example, Msgr. Manuel Sanchez from Sacred Heart Church in Pomona, CA has been accused of brutally raping an 8-year-old boy in 1981. His accuser came forward in 2003.
The Los Angeles Times first covered the case in February of 2004, and here's what the Times wrote at the time :
The 9-10 mentality is alive and well and living at the Los Angeles Times. In A really bad case of 'reality', house columnist Rosa Brooks approvingly cites unnamed "experts" thusly:
[Al Qaeda] was little more than an obscure group of extremist thugs, well financed and intermittently lethal but relatively limited in their global and regional political pull. On 9/11, they got lucky — but despite the unexpected success of their attack on the U.S., they did not pose an imminent mortal threat to the nation.
Michael Moore claimed in his movie “SiCKO” that there are 50 million uninsured Americans, according to his own Web site. But he’s wrong.
He’s certainly not alone though. So were President Bush, Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) as well as The Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN, CBS and ABC just to name a few.
“It’s really indefensible that we now have more than 45 million uninsured Americans, 9 million of whom are children, and the vast majority of whom are from working families,” said Sen. Hillary Clinton in a May 31 speech.
ABC medical expert Dr. Tim Johnson cited the incorrect data as he praised a "bold" and "politically brilliant" universal coverage plan on the April 26 “Good Morning America.”
The 21-year-old nephew of Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez has enlisted in the Marines, and Lopez isn't happy about it. "Don't become a pawn, I told my nephew," Lopez writes. His column is, "When the reality of Iraq hits home" (Sun., 7/15/07).
Some have argued that without a draft, enlisting in this war is a matter of choice, so what happens, happens.
But that's not necessarily true in the case of National Guard troops who have been called up. And as for soldiers as young as my nephew, I don't see enlistment as a well-informed choice but as a product of manipulation.
Not a "well-informed choice"? A "product of manipulation"? At 21 years old? Am I the only one who think this sounds a tad condescending?
Lopez has a justified worry that his nephew will be deployed to Iraq. Nearly everyone can sympathize with that anxiety. But Lopez claims that President Bush "misled us from the beginning" and "will keep sacrificing lives in a vain and futile attempt to save face." Bush's campaign has been one of "deceit and simplification," says Steve.
We are seeing all over the MSM the reports highlighting the Republicans in the House and Senate who are turning away from the Party line and voting against -- or at least seeming to vote against -- the President's Iraq war policies. The MSM is presenting this revolt as a momentous thing, unprecedented and presenting it as a loss for the President's ideas. Yet, even as a small number of Republicans have, indeed, voted against the Party line, an even larger number of Democrats are voting against their Party, too. Yet, somehow, we are not hearing this being brought up by the tongue waggers and controversy-mongers in the MSM.
In a July 12th vote in the House of Representatives to mandate a certain date to pull out of Iraq, for instance, the fact that four Republicans broke ranks is treated as a stampede of GOP defectors. Yet, in that same vote, 10 Democrats did not vote with their Party -- in effect "defecting" to the GOP side of the argument. Of this fact, the MSM seem strangely quite.
Why is it that four Republican votes against the President's plans is some sort of landslide, yet 10 Democrat votes against their Party line is ignored?
A funny thing happened a few days after Al Gore’s concerts to draw attention to global warming concluded: a significant study out of England stating that changes in the sun’s output are not responsible for climate change went almost thoroughly ignored by America’s media.
A report by the BBC on Tuesday, which demonstrably challenged one of the key arguments made by anthropogenic global warming skeptics, would normally have been greeted with great enthusiasm by press representatives in the States always looking to highlight stories supporting their green agenda.
Yet, of the major American news organizations, only Bloomberg gave this new study any attention:
Yesterday's testimony by a disaffected former Bush official gave the
mainstream media the opportunity to resurrect a favored meme: President
Bush hates science.
Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona
yesterday testified before a House committee on White House meddling in
Carmona's speeches. Of course, Drs. C. Everett Koop and David Satcher
also complained of political meddling from the Reagan and Clinton
administrations respectively, but this fact was buried deep in the print accounts I've read.
But rather than exploring the complaints of political interference as a "systemic problem"-- Carmona's words -- that transcend party line and administration, news coverage in the mainstream media has
sought to single out the Bush administration as anti-science.
This one is a hoot. The L.A.Times has posted a piece in their politics section about the supposed revelations of Drew Westen, a psychologist who is advising Democrats that they are too logical and rely on "facts" too much in their campaigns. Westen is warning Democrats that they need to be more "emotional" in their appeals to the voters because, according to his "research", Democrat and independent voters are just too darn stupid to understand logic and facts. And Westen makes this claim as if Democrats don't already campaign almost strictly on pure emotion with little appeal to intellect now!
WASHINGTON — Drew Westen, a genial 48-year-old psychologist and brain researcher, was talking to a rapt liberal audience about the role of emotion in politics, how to talk back aggressively to Republicans, and why going negative is not to be feared.
One wonders when, exactly, Democrats didn't follow this path toward using overly emotional campaign methods? Have we so soon forgotten the James Byrd ad where then Governor Bush was accused of agreeing with the racist dragging death of a black Texas man? How about LBJ's famous Daisy ad where Democrats accused Barry Goldwater of wanting to start a nuclear war? How about today where John Edwards is campaigning on "two America's" or his 2004 claims that Democrats would make sure the crippled could walk if America elected he and John Kerry to office? And how often are Republicans cast by Democrats as those evil people who want to poison the water, keep blacks from voting, take away women's rights, and starve the children?
Jim Geraghty over at National Review Online is reporting on an interesting thing concerning this story that the L.A.Times printed last weekend claiming that some abortion advocates hired Fred Thompson to lobby the White House for them over a pro-abortion issue in 1991 (NewsBusters story here). It seems that the story as originally posted on the LAT website has been altered with no notice of the change, nor an explanation of why it was changed. Once the removed sentence is looked into, though, it becomes clear that it was removed in an attempt to clean up the story to remove items problematic to the veracity of the thing!
Many know by now that Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles has admitted to a lengthy affair with a television reporter. So, what do you call an extremely thoughtful, well-written commentary that suggests that the mayor uphold his wedding vows, immediately end his affair, repent for his actions, and work to restore the relationships between his wife and his children? If you're the helpless Tim Rutten at the Los Angeles Times, you call it a "hysterical screed."
The old-style "Latin Mass" (the "Tridentine use") of the Catholic Church was never banned, but it required the permission of a local bishop to be performed. But in a recent announcement, Pope Benedict XVI has "opened the door to wider use" of the Latin Mass by not requiring local authorization. The effect on Catholics around the world, if any, will be minimal, as the vast majority of masses will continue to be celebrated in people's own languages.
Big whoop, eh? This is the kind of news that maybe justifies a tiny "In Brief" appearance in your paper. But the Los Angeles Times never leaves a stone unturned in trying to portray Catholics and Catholic-related news in the most unflattering light. (I posted this only a few days ago.)