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.)
Writing on the recently disclosed affair of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat, the Times ridiculously opines that "it seems that Democrats' sexual shenanigans do more damage to their political careers than Republicans' do." The Times cheekily writes that the "political bible" states, "Thou shalt not commit adultery, unless you're a Republican." (All emphasis mine.)
Oh, really? Just looking at the Villaraigosa affair, the Times' editorial conveniently fails to consider a few things:
Just today (Sat. 7/7/07), the Times wrote, "[V]oters can be very forgiving, as Villaraigosa himself proved by winning election [as mayor in 2005] despite admitting a separate affair in 1994 that nearly ended his marriage." So ... Where was the "damage" there, LA Times?
The AP, taking their cue from the new because-she-said-so story offered by the L.A.Times, has run with a short clip on a story that claims Fred Thompson was working as a lobbyist for an abortion agency in 1991, giving the hearsay evidence against him but not offering the meat of his against the claim. The result is that the AP offers more "evidence" against Thompson than it does for him making it too easy to conclude he is "guilty" of the charge of lobbying for an abortion advocacy organization.
The AP did a wonderful job making this story seem more cut and dried than it really is, of course, but the fact is, this claim of Thompson's supposed lobbying for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association is nothing but an unproven (and maybe unprovable) claim against Thompson made by people who are well-known, far left activists and heavy contributors to the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. Naturally, neither the AP nor the L.A.Times wastes any time to detail the history of those making these claims against Thompson, leaving their relevant backgrounds completely out of the story.
Gee... why do you think they'd forget to let readers know that this story is based solely of the good word of Hillary supporters?
August 17, 1999, Los Angeles Times: Although Newt Gingrich no longer serves in Congress, Times opinion writer Robert Scheer rips into the national media for not digging the knife deep enough into Newt over his two messy divorces. "Now it's his turn to be judged bad fruit," wrote Scheer. Scheer's tone is certainly angry and vindictive. (Note: Scheer no longer works for the Times as of November 2005.)
July 3, 2007: The Los Angeles Daily News, L.A.'s #2 paper behind the bigger Times, becomes the first major news outlet to report that Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has admitted to currently having a "relationship" with "Telemundo 52" anchor Mirthala Salinas. About a month ago, the mayor announced that he and his wife of 20 years, Corina, were separating (LA Times article). (As an anchor, Salinas herself reported the news of the mayor's separation on Telemundo. (Video at latimes.com) Yikes.) A few days later, Corina announced she was filing for divorce (LA Times article). (On June 20, the Times published a letter from Calif. State Senator Sheila Kuehl, a far-left Democrat, telling everyone to "leave the guy alone.")
The Los Angeles Times has slammed Robin Williams' new film, License To Wed, in a review in today's paper (Wed. 7/3/07). However, the review made no mention of Williams' offensive and bigoted anti-Catholic remarks on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno two weeks ago, as reported by NB's Michael Chapman. (See also this and this.) Neither has the paper published anything about Williams' words, although the episode took place in the Times' backyard. Yet the Times gave tons o' ink to Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic tirade last year during a DUI arrest. (Read about that here.)
In a landmark 5-4 case today, the U.S. Supreme Court found that two school systems had improperly used race as a consideration in managing the public school districts. Web sites for many newspapers have carried Associated Press coverage of the ruling, and the later the revision of the AP report, the more information tends to be packed in them.
As of 1:15 a.m. Eastern when I started this post*, the Los Angeles Times front page linked to an AP story published just before 11 a.m. Eastern. But in that version of the AP story, Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, is not quoted at all. Yet a similar AP story (perhaps the same story but with fewer paragraphs edited out) was published just minutes later in the Washington Examiner.
Depending on which newspaper you read Tuesday morning, the wildfires in the Lake Tahoe region of California and Nevada were either caused by global warming or environmentalists.
I kid you not.
In Northern California, just a few hours from the devastation, the number one paper in the region, the San Francisco Chronicle, chose to blame the fires on overdevelopment in Tahoe, and, of course, global warming (emphasis added):
What do you call a guy who leaves the priesthood, rejects fundamental doctrine of the Catholic Church, and propagates egregious falsehoods about Catholics? If you're the Los Angeles Times, you call him a "Devout Catholic" - in your headline. Un·be·liev·a·ble.
The subject in a fawning article in the Times is James Carroll. A new documentary film is based on his 2001 book, Constantine's Sword, an awful work that advances the premise that anti-Semitism is central to Catholicism and Christianity.
When it was announced Tuesday that China surpassed the United States as the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide, NewsBusters asked, “Will Media Notice?”
In reality, the answer is a mixed windbag, with most press outlets totally ignoring the revelation, and a few actually blaming the problem on – wait for it! – the United States. I kid you not.
However, before we address that stupidity, it first must be relayed that not one of the television news outlets bothered reporting the Chinese CO2 data at all. It appears that television news divisions only feel CO2 is a problem if it’s emitted by American corporations or citizens.
As for the print media, the few that did cover this story either gave it very little attention, or made some fairly predictable excuses for why it’s okay as the planet nears its seemingly inevitable doom at the hands of greenhouse gases for China to be the leading “polluter.”
For instance, the New York Times devoted a total of 83 words to this story in its “World Briefing Asia” section Thursday on page A12 (no link available):
At this point, the answer to the latter is a resounding “No.” The answer to the former is “Not much.”
To be more specific, extensive searches of Google News and LexisNexis have identified that no major American media outlet with the exception of the New York Daily News bothered to report the theft of Yasser Arafat’s Noble Peace Prize:
A judge Wednesday ordered Cardinal Roger M. Mahony to testify in a lawsuit alleging that he failed to protect parishioners from a pedophile teacher, but then granted the Los Angeles cleric's request for a trial delay.
For the Record Clergy abuse: An article in Thursday's California section about Cardinal Roger M. Mahony being ordered to testify in a lawsuit said the suit alleged that he failed to protect parishioners from Paul Kreutzer, a pedophile teacher. In fact, the suit accuses the Archdiocese of Los Angeles of failing to protect parishioners from abuse by Kreutzer between 1974 and 1976. Mahony did not become archbishop until September 1985 and is not named in the suit.
This one is really stretching the limits of any legitimate blame being leveled at Fred Thompson, but the L.A.Times has published a story linking Thompson to businessman with a shady past over a radio advertisement that the Senator narrates for that businessman's company. But, as we find out, Thompson's ABC Radio contract requires that he and other ABC Radio personalities act as narrator for the radio spot, so it isn't like Fred has gone out of his way to endorse this shady businessman's product. Naturally, the L.A. Times has to title the piece "An Awkward Ad By Fred Thompson", even as the Senator barely has a walk on part in the article. Most of the article ends up being about the company that the ad was recorded for and not Thompson. So, the light is shined on Thompson even as the story is not really about him much at all.
Story after story about Rupert Murdoch’s purchase offer for Dow Jones & Company, which owns The Wall Street Journal, has criticized the prospect as a threat to journalism, questioned the media mogul’s “editorial integrity” and attacked his character.
Journalists, media critics and the union representing the Journal were up in arms.
“[P]robably not quite as frightening as the day we learned Kim Jong Il has the bomb, but close … very close. It could be worse. We might have discovered, for example, that Saddam Hussein had stashed all those missing weapons of mass destruction in a Pasadena storage locker rented to Osama bin Laden,” said a Los Angeles Times column.
As people who are following the G-8 summit in Germany are well aware, it is highly doubtful that any meaningful accord will be reached at this meeting concerning CO2 emissions. In fact, reports out of Europe and Asia for many weeks leading up to this event have made this eventuality quite clear.
Yet, this didn’t prevent the Los Angeles Times’ Ron Brownstein for blaming the lack of such an agreement on President George W. Bush.
In an op-ed published Wednesday entitled “Don't Sugarcoat Climate Change; Calling out Bush's intransigence on emissions caps may be the best way for other G-8 countries to get the U.S. to budge on global warming,” Brownstein chose to ignore all of the facts surrounding this issue, and instead pointed an accusatory finger at the media’s favorite target (emphasis added throughout):
On Tuesday (5/29/07), we published this post. We wrote how a recent book review in the Los Angeles Times didn't bother to disclose that the author of the reviewed book, Gustavo Arellano, happens to be a contributing editor to the Times.
This morning I opened the Times to find this on page A2:
For the Record May 31, 2007
Mexican book: A review in Friday's Calendar section of Gustavo Arellano's book "¡Ask a Mexican!," a compilation of his columns by the same name for OC Weekly, should have added that Arellano is also a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times' Opinion page.
Well! I guess the Times's "Readers' Representative" received my e-mail and read our article!
Kudos to the Times for acknowledging their lack of proper disclosure.
Although most media coverage of the closure of RCTV by the Hugo Chavez government in Venezuela has been somewhat bland, we now have an example of a journalist who actually supports the takeover of that long established television station. It is the former Associated Press reporter in Venezuela, Bart Jones, who wrote an approving article in today's Los Angeles Times, Hugo Chavez versus RCTV. Jones justifies the closing of that station by the Chavistas by claiming that it supported the 2002 coup against Chavez:
RCTV's most infamous effort to topple Chavez came during the April 11, 2002, coup attempt against him. For two days before the putsch, RCTV preempted regular programming and ran wall-to-wall coverage of a general strike aimed at ousting Chavez. A stream of commentators spewed nonstop vitriolic attacks against him — while permitting no response from the government.
Gustavo Arellano got a book review in the Los Angeles Times that every writer dreams of. With glowing prose they dubbed his book ¡Ask a Mexican! as "hilarious and testy," "insightful," and "witty and fearless." "Arellano ... offer[s] much-needed common sense," added the Times. A nice color photo of Arellano accompanies the review. (See an image of the article here.) Sounds great, doesn't it?
So ... What's the problem? Nowhere in the review does the paper bother to disclose that Arellano is a contributing editor to the Times. For the paper he has penned no less than ten columns in the last 11 months, including a book review that was published only a couple of weeks ago.
In other words, Arellano had about as much chance of receiving a negative review as it snowing in Santa Monica this week.
It’s been a full 48 hours since antiwar icon Cindy Sheehan publicly announced that she was leaving the Democrat Party due to Thursday’s bipartisan agreement on an Iraq war funding bill.
Yet, Google News and LexisNexis searches have identified that not one major media outlet has covered her announcement.
Given the media’s fascination with this woman since she traveled to Crawford, Texas, in August 2005 to picket near President Bush’s ranch, one must wonder why they have abandoned her now?
Does this suggest that the media’s antiwar proclivities are only important when they shed a negative light on the Administration and Republicans, but not when events such as this speak poorly about Democrats?
Before you answer, consider the following data. Since August 1, 2005:
During Monica Goodling's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee testimony Dem congressman Steven Cohen of Tennessee quizzed the former Justice Department official regarding her Christian faith and the law school at Regent University, founded by Pat Robertson, that she attended.
An internet search reveals brief references to the interrogation in articles by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post and Maura Reynolds in the Los Angeles Times. But I saw no coverage of the grilling on any of the morning news shows, nor have CNN or MSNBC picked it up as far as I have noticed.
I'm setting forth the actual transcript below, taken from this article, with the following changes. In place of "Regent" university, I'm substituting the name of an apocryphal Islamic university, which I'm calling "Prophet." In place of Christian or Christianity, I'm substituting Muslim. And in place of God, Allah.
Now imagine what kind of MSM uproar there would have been if a Republican congressman had posed these questions to a person of Muslim faith.
Congressman: And it says you went -- chose Muslim universities in part because they -- value they placed on service. What was the other [reason] that you chose Muslim universities?
Bogus caricatures, flat-out misinformation, and bias-by-omission have recently plagued the Los Angeles Times when addressing the issue of abortion. For example:
1. A Tuesday, May 22, 2007, front-page piece by Stephanie Simon (whose work we've addressed before here, here, here, and here) tackles the fact that the number of abortion doctors in the United States is dwindling. Misinformed stereotypes and misleading information riddle the article. For example:
a. Simon paints an overly grisly portrait of abortion in the years before Roe v. Wade (emphasis mine):
Sometimes you read something by a member of the MSM that is just so elitist, someone whose arrogance is so amazing, that it is hard to believe it was written by a member of a democratic society.
We MSM watchdogs love to poke our fingers in the eyes of the homogeneously leftist elitists in the media establishment assailing them for their pervasive assumptions of their own superiority. We don’t often, however, get to see them come right out and say that they truly do think they are better and smarter then the rest of us mere commoners. Usually they are sly enough not to show their arrogance so obviously, leaving it unsaid but broadly hinted at. But, once in a while their egos get the better of them and they let that upturned nose snort just enough at the rest of us to let us know where our “place” in life is.
Does L.A. Times columnist Rosa Brooks think 9-11 was "fictional and entirely implausible"? I ask, because in The GOP's Torture Enthusiasts today, that's how she describes a similar scenario that Brit Hume sketched during this past Tuesday's GOP presidential debate.
In inviting the candidates to discuss their views on interrogation during this past Tuesday's get together, debate moderator and Fox News DC Bureau managing editor Brit Hume said the following:
The questions in this round will be premised on a fictional, but we think plausible scenario involving terrorism and the response to it. Here is the premise: Three shopping centers near major U.S. cities have been hit by suicide bombers. Hundreds are dead, thousands injured. A fourth attack has been averted when the attackers were captured off the Florida coast and taken to Guantanamo Bay, where they are being questioned. U.S. intelligence believes that another larger attack is planned and could come at any time.
Brooks sniffed at the scenario, calling it "the kind that most intelligence experts consider fictional and entirely implausible."
The TV industry is a fickle business, just ask any veteran of the small screen. While most actors in Hollywood would probably tell you that they're at the mercy of you the viewing audience, blogger LaShawn Barber noticed that comedian George Lopez whipped out the race card to complain about his five-season-long show being canned by the alphabet network.
"TV just became really, really white again," complained Lopez, who was reacting to the premise of "Cavemen," the sitcom that will replace his show. "Cavemen" will basically transform the Geico commercial cavemen premise into a half-hour laugh riot (you can tell I suspect it will be even less funny than Lopez's show).