Sometimes when you're surfing through the web or watching TV, you come across a story that's so ridiculous it makes you wonder if the reporter who filed it even bothered for a second to think how stupid they sound.
That's definitely the case with this piece from Los Angeles Times reporter Tina Daunt:
Ronald Reagan became president even though he worked with chimps in
Arnold Schwarzenegger played a murderous robot,
and that didn't keep him from becoming governor.
So can "Law & Order" actor and former Sen. Fred
Thompson (R-Tenn.) become the first presidential candidate
with this credit? Thompson played a white supremacist, spewing
anti-Semitic comments and fondling an autographed copy of "Mein
Kampf" on a television drama 19 years ago.
Yes, apparently you can fondle a book. Daunt continues:
Print accounts of the House of Representatives turning into Pelosi Palace, passing a so-called "hate crimes" expansion act to please the gay left, don't seem to notice there is a left side on the debate over this bill. There are "civil rights groups" on one side, and "conservatives" on the other. That apparently would make them an "anti-civil rights" group.
In The Washington Post, reporter Jonathan Weisman quotes Speaker Nancy Pelosi using words from the Pledge of Allegiance to back the left wing, not to mention Ted Kennedy and Steny Hoyer, but none of them are described as liberals. Weisman can't even call the bill's backers "gay advocates," just "advocates," as if idealistic blandness (and not ideological severity) defined the left, while these idealists were opposed by the staunchest of conservatives:
If a high-ranking member of the Taliban told Al-Jazeera that the recent attempted assassination of Vice President Dick Cheney was devised by Osama bin Laden, would you expect the media to report it?
In reality, after this interview, the claim was largely discredited. However, one has to wonder why Mullah Dadullah’s (the believed leader of the Taliban in southern Afghanistan) statement made last Wednesday went largely ignored.
Was this an attempt by a media seemingly always interested in downplaying the war on terror to keep the public from even considering that bin Laden could have been involved?
Are you a liberal supporter of withdrawing American troops from Iraq ASAP? Wondering why your side couldn't get it done? Read this Los Angeles Times piece (and the excellent comments of Ed Morrissey about it):
For almost three years, training the Iraqi army has been among the top
priorities for the U.S. military. And for nearly that long, U.S.
officials have considered it among their chief frustrations.
Now, with President Bush under steady pressure to begin pulling
U.S. troops from Iraq, the administration once again is emphasizing the
need to train Iraqi forces to take over the country's security.
But despite some signs of progress, both Iraqis and their American
advisors at this training range are blunt about how much work remains:
If a U.S. pullout comes anytime soon, most say, the Iraqi army will
Last month, Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton likened the Catholic Church in Los Angeles to "an ugly old political attack dog" and suggested that the state legislature reexamine its tax-exempt status for property. Why? Because Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles spoke out during a Mass against a proposed bill in California that would legalize physician-assisted suicide. He also singled out Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, who calls himself a Catholic, for supporting the bill. Skelton hyperventilated over the episode and claimed it was a "collision of church and state." He also clamored that Mahony's comments regarding Nuñez "cross[ed] the line."
Meanwhile, presidential candidate Barack Obama made an appearance at South-Central Los Angeles' First AME Church last Sunday (4/29/07). According to the Times, Obama addressed the congregation and "drew a sustained ovation when he rebuked the Bush administration." The paper covered the event with over 1,100 words and a very generous photo. (See an image of the article here.)
In addition, KTLA5 television in Los Angeles reported, "[Obama] said times are changing and a brighter day is ahead -- especially if he is elected president ... Obama danced and sang with the choir and the congregation prayed for him to become president."
In Sunday’s paper, the L.A.Times has a piece that mourns a downturn of a portion of Mexico’s economy and, naturally, the Times blames the USA for it. How is it that the USA is responsible for this downturn? New home construction is down in California and illegal Mexicans have found themselves out of work because of it. This means that these out of work Mexicans cannot send US dollars to Mexico and, therefore, Mexican families back home are finding less money in their family incomes.
So, according to the L.A.Times, the US is unfairly hurting Mexican families because of a downturn in new home building in the USA. Why are we Americans so darn mean to those innocent illegals, anyway? For shame you selfish Americans!
Assume for a moment that a prominent Republican’s uncle that happened to be a former state senator was convicted of accepting bribes. Do you think:
This would have been headline/front-page news
The family relationship would have been in the lede and/or headline
His party affiliation would have been in the lede and/or headline?
Well, on Friday, the uncle of former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. (D), former Tennessee State Sen. John Ford (D), was convicted of accepting bribes totaling $55,000. Yet, many media outlets buried the connection to his much more popular nephew, as well as the fact that he was a Democrat.
For instance, this is how the New York Times handled the story Saturday coincidentally on page A14 (h/t NB reader Joe Easley):
Putting aside the obvious question ("Why are you an LA Times reader?") for the moment -- Apparently you'll get closer to the truth of what's happening in Iraq by reading a Times columnist than you will by reading reports from Times reporters actually assigned to deliver that information.
An Iraq success story Once-violent Ramadi, which now enjoys relative calm, shows that Iraqis can achieve peace -- with our help. April 24, 2007
'A FEW WEEKS ago you couldn't drive down this street without being attacked. When I went down this street in February, I was hit three times with small-arms fire and IEDs." Col. John Charlton was describing Ramadi as we drove down its heavily damaged main street, dubbed Route Michigan by U.S. forces. Even though this was an unlucky day — Friday the 13th (of April) — we did not experience a single attack on our convoy of Humvees.
Sports fans checking the box scores this morning got a lesson in "transsexualism" when they opened the LA Times. Mike Penner, one of the paper's sports writers, announced in his column he is taking a few weeks off. When he returns he’ll be known as Christine Daniels.
The column detailed Penner's 40-year struggle with “transsexualism.” He said that “extensive therapy and testing” show that his brain was “wired female.” He defended the “medical condition” as “widely misunderstood” and a “natural occurrence.”
"For Hollywood's sake, he needs to return." "I miss Harvey Weinstein." "[T]he movies he made were full of class." So says Patrick Goldstein in an April 17, 2007, article in the Los Angeles Times.
"[T]he movies he made were full of class"? Harvey Weinstein is best known as the co-founder (with his brother Bob) of Miramax Films. (He now heads something called The Weinstein Company.) But he is also known as a producer of a string of Catholic-bashing movies.
Several major media players, including print icons, are losing money. An April 20 article in the New York Times reported that the New York Times Company (NYT and the Boston Globe) and the Gannett Company (USA Today) declined in first-quarter revenue while the Tribune Company (the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times) actually lost money.
The Times has recently been rocked by major scandals such as Jayson Blair’s plagiarism and fabrication and Rick Bragg's plagiarism. Newsbusters and Times Watch have documented the Times’ leftward-tilting reporting and an inability to acknowledge reporting mistakes in stories like the Duke lacrosse hoax, the story about rape in the military that was printed when known to be false and the recent article which wrongly claimed an El Salvadoran woman was jailed for an illegal abortion. Radar Online noticed the lowering of journalistic bar at the paper and ranked their ten worst reporters. It’s no secret that the print media are in dire straits, and even the NYT wrote that the “disappointing results underscored the increasingly tough economic times faced by the industry as advertisers continued to shift their focus away from print to the Internet.” The Times gave the numbers for the downturn:
I noticed an excellent item by Patterico today on selective reporting from the Los Angeles Times's David Savage regarding the "safety" of partial-birth abortion as compared to other methods of abortion and thought I'd excerpt it for you below:
Savage highlights the fact that some doctors say that the ban creates “significant health risks.”
What he doesn’t mention is that many others disagree.
This disagreement is a major point of the opinion, and is stated again
and again (though not mentioned by Savage). Here are some
representative quotes from the opinion:
four papers included descriptions of the gruesome abortion procedure,
although none described the suctioning of the unborn child's brain from
the skull as the manner of ending the fetus's life, and the NY Times
failed to mention the brain suction at all. While all four papers also put "partial-birth abortion" in quotes or chalked the label up to pro-life rhetoric, the NY Times's
Linda* Greenhouse piled on, calling the label "provocative" and describing the ruling as a shift from a focus on the
"rights" of women to the "fate of fetuses."
"Conservation is a cause that has been espoused by some thoughtful Americans at least since the days of Thoreau, a cause whose time has come because life is running out," the New York Times editorialized on the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970.
Media support for environmentalism is not waning since the first Earth Day, in fact uncritical coverage of green rallies and protest is the norm nearly 37 years later.
There are so many green events this year you just might need a separate calendar to keep track. Just make sure it's printed on post-consumer recycled paper.
"What can Al Gore expect now that he is organizing a concert to save the entire planet from a global warming disaster," asked the Los Angeles Times on February 16. Noting that Bob Geldof earned a knighthood for Live Aid, a previous fundraising concert, the paper asked:
An April 12, 2007, article by Stephanie Simon in the Los Angeles Times claimed that "national cancer experts" have found no link between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer (ABC = "Abortion-Breast Cancer").
Two weeks ago, we reported (in this NB post) that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles publicly objected to coverage of the priest abuse scandal by the Los Angeles Times. Two articles by the Times in the second half of March contained false information, contended the Archdiocese. One of the articles was cited as being particularly "insulting to all Catholics." Rebuttals to the Times were printed in the archdiocese newspaper, The Tidings, the largest diocesan paper in the United States. (Here and here are the rebuttals.)
Is the Times now retaliating against Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony for calling the paper out on its falsehoods?
Those with delicate constitutions should avoid reading the Los Angeles Times's latest puff-profile of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, taken apart by Patterico. Here's an excerpt:
As the highest-ranking woman in elective office, Pelosi is as much a power player as the men who preceded her.
“She’s well-bred, a lady through and through,” said Rep. Anna G.
Eshoo (D-Atherton), Pelosi’s friend of 30 years. “But anyone who knows
her knows not to mess with her.”
With a father who was a Baltimore mayor and congressman who ran a
political machine out of the family’s brick row house, Pelosi
cultivates loyalty in ways large and small, much as her father did —
keeping careful political tallies, but still remembering birthdays.
For the last few weeks I have been watching two stories that, were they about Conservatives or Republicans, would have been scandals that would have shaken the rafters of the MSM. But, since these stories are about two favored Liberals, one old and one newly minted, we have seen no faux outrage, no shocked commentary, no calls for heads on pikes to be posted at the entrance to Congress, and no calls for resignations. Oh, the stories were reported all right, but all sensationalism was eschewed with the usual extrapolation to the level of a “culture of corruption” cast aside for a straight, newsy style atypical to their normal means against Republicans.
These two stories and the lack of passionate coverage of them by the MSM shows that the MSM employs as much liberal bias in what they chose not to cover as they do in what they chose to go ahead and focus upon.
Leave it to a liberal to claim that Americans are "cheapskates" because our government does not spend enough money on foreign aid. In the L.A.Times for April 13th, that is just what we are treated to with Rosa Brooks' screed titled, "To the rest of the world, we're cheapskates" and subtitled, "The U.S. international affairs budget -- which helps fight AIDS, poverty and more -- is just 1% of total spending." But, by attacking our country over its record on charity and foreign aid spending, Brooks proves that she neither understands the nature of American generosity, nor the American character.
OVERVIEW: I believe that the sale of The Tribune Company last week to investor Sam Zell is an unrecognized low-water mark in the newspaper publishing business. In fact, after subtracting the value of the Tribune's non-newspaper properties from the deal, what little value remains indicates that the value of having access to a newspaper's readers is a mind-boggling 70% less than it was a mere seven years ago.
Is it possible that Tribune Company investors are paying the price of many years of relentless misreporting and biased reporting at its newspapers, especially those it acquired when it bought Times Mirror in 2000? While the numbers presented here of necessity involve a fair amount of approximation, it's hard to avoid concluding that the answer is "yes."
If it wouldn’t cause death, the Center for Science in the Public Interest would probably try to ban eating and drinking altogether, but when the media report on CSPI rarely are its extreme positions emphasized.
According to CSPI, "it takes more than willpower" to make decisions about what to eat, so it's here to help by promoting bans, more regulations and higher taxes on what it considers "unhealthy."
“[A] new study says that if you’re out for Chinese, even the good stuff could be bad for you,” said ABC’s Terry Moran on “Nightline” March 21.
In that same report, Jessica Yellin and CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson bantered happily about the problems with Chinese food: fat and sodium. Of course "Nightline" was reporting CSPI's latest study, the same day the food police released "Wok Carefully: CSPI Takes a (Second) Look at Chinese Restaurant Food."
On Wednesday (March 28, 2007), Sen. Diane Feinstein resigned as chairperson and ranking member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee (MILCON) after serving on it for six years. Beginning in January, Metro, a weekly newspaper serving California's Silicon Valley, reported that Feinstein "voted for appropriations worth billions to her husband's firms." Her husband is Richard C. Blum. Conflict of interest, anyone?
So, exactly how many syllables has the Los Angeles Times dedicated the past week to this potentially explosive ethical problem that Feinstein appears to have? Choose one: A. Zero, B. Zilch, C. Nada, D. Nil. (Hint: Feinstein is a Democrat.)
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is publicly voicing its strong objections to two recent columns in the Los Angeles Times regarding the priest abuse scandal. Both articles contained substantial falsehoods, according to the Archdiocese.
1. A March 26, 2007, article in the Times claimed that Church officials and employees, when questioned in legal proceedings, could invoke something called "'mental reservation' — a 700-year-old doctrine by which clerics may avoid telling the truth to protect the Catholic Church." The article quoted Irwin Zalkin, a lawyer for abuse victims, as saying of church officials under oath, "You're never going to know the truth, one way or the other."
The truth? There is no such doctrine, and the term "mental reservation" is found nowhere in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) began its spring season of announcing its annual GLAAD Media Awards for pro-gay journalism last week at the Marriott Marquis in New York (thanks in part to 100 donors, including "Platinum Underwriter" Time Warner). Other ceremonies will follow in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami, but the bulk of their awards were celebrated in New York. Among the big winners: Rosie O'Donnell for her "All Aboard!" HBO documentary touting her gay and lesbian family cruise. She was there to accept the award with filmmaker Shari Cookson, and gave a nod to tennis legend Billie Jean King, subject of another nominated documentary, saying "if it hadn't been for Billie Jean King, there wouldn't have been a gay movement."
Also honored in the awards, offered to journalists and entertainers GLAAD thought were "fair, accurate, inclusive, and impossibly glam," were the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, ABC's "Nightline," and especially The New York Times, which won three.
Just in time for the 2008 presidential race, a certified "Friend of Bill" is bidding to acquire the Tribune Company, which owns the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. As reported in this New York Times article , FOB Ronald W. Burkle and Eli Broad sumbitted their bid yesterday to Tribune management.
The Los Angeles Times and Harper's have a bit of egg on their faces.
The Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed by Kitty Kelley last week claiming that no one in George W. Bush's extended family -- daughters, nieces or nephews -- has served in the military since his father's service in World War II.
The Bush family's supposed lack of military service is the entire focus of the op-ed.
Says Kelley: "The president tells us Iraq is a 'noble' war, but his wife, his children and his nieces and nephews are not listening. None has enlisted in the armed services, and none seems to be paying attention to the sacrifices of military families."
She also says: "The presidential nieces and nephews also have missed the memo on setting a good public example."
Since April of 2004, the Los Angeles Times has published over 20,000 words on the death and the controversy surrounding the death of NFL star Pat Tillman in Afghanistan. The word total includes 20 articles, editorials, and op-eds.
Meanwhile, since July of 2004, the Times has published less than 4,200 words on the story of former Clinton security advisor Sandy Berger pilfering classified documents from the National Archives. This includes 7 articles and one editorial. Two of the seven "articles" were in the notorious "In Brief" section, by the way.
In much of the mainstream media reporting on the firing of eight U.S.
attorneys, the focus has been on stoking a political controversy from the story, ruminating on Alberto Gonzales's shelf life as attorney general, etc.
Largely left by the wayside in mainstream media reporting have been legitimate deviations the fired attorneys exhibited from Bush Justice Department priorities, such as immigration enforcement -- for instance, San Diego-based attorney Carol Lam's prosecution of immigration cases reportedly bothered the decidedly unconservative Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) -- and pushing for the death penalty in capital cases.
It took a while but at least one major media outlet is reporting that a reluctance to pursue the death penalty might have been a factor in at least three of the firings. [continued...]
Among the biggest possible conflicts of interest a newspaper can enter into is to have the same people involved in news coverage running opinion pages. I am proud of the fact that Jeff Johnson, Dean Baquet and I fully separated the opinion pages from the newsroom at the Times. I accept my share of the responsibility for placing the Times in this predicament, but I will not be lectured on ethics by some ostensibly objective news reporters and editors who lobby for editorials to be written on certain subjects, or who have suggested that our editorial page coordinate more closely with the newsroom's agenda, and I strongly urge the present and future leadership of the paper to resist the cries to revisit the separation between news and opinion that we have achieved.
What I don't get is why the Times' news reporters even feel the need to influence the paper's editorial page content. Based on Martinez's observation/acknowledgment that the newsroom has an "agenda," those reporters already have their own editorial pages, which just happen to be known as "the rest of the newspaper."