In our continuing calvalcade of coverage of the Biden "clean and articulate" comments, we thought it would be interesting to see how three of the leading liberal newspapers treated the story on their respective front pages this morning.
At the New York Times, the headline on the smallish front-page article brought a dash of downplaying humor to the story: "Biden Unwraps His Bid for ’08 With an Oops!"
But that was better than nothing - which was exactly how much coverage the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times devoted to the story on their front pages.
Now, you might cut the Globe some slack since Beantown was focused on the Turner Broadcasting System marketing stunt for a Cartoon Network television show that littered the city with small battery-powered light screens, igniting fears of terrorism and shutting down much of the city for the day. Even so, the Globe editors found room on the front page for a variety of other stories including one on a pol caught in a sick leave scandal.
Nearly 3,000 Americans killed in a series of attacks on one single day -- the most American civilians ever killed in a single day with coordinated attacks -- was no big deal as far as David Bell writing for the L.A. Times is concerned.
The attacks were a horrible act of mass murder, but history says we're overreacting.
See, they know this because Russia had a bad time of it during WWII.
...imagine that the attacks had continued, every six hours, for another four years, until nearly 20 million Americans were dead. This is roughly what the Soviet Union suffered during World War II, and contemplating these numbers may help put in perspective what the United States has so far experienced during the war against terrorism.
Such a ridiculous comparison. WWII, a standard, symmetrical war, bears little resemblance to this threat we face today. The Russians were under arms facing Hitler. It wasn't a "nice" war, surely, but it was a standard war none-the-less. Hitler invaded and the Russians resisted.
So imagine the look on my face when I picked up the Times this morning to see yet another fawning portrait of Obama today (Mon. Jan. 29, 2007)! This time, the piece is, "Occidental recalls 'Barry' Obama," placed prominently on the top of page B1 spanning 1,456 words. (See an image of the article.) Three photos, including one of a smiling, youthful Obama, accompany the piece. Need I even mention that the article is a pretty positive sketch of its subject?
The Los Angeles Times is continuing its fawning and glowing coverage of Democratic freshman Senator Barack Obama. Only 11 days ago, after Obama announced the formation of his presidential exploratory committee, the Times commemorated the event on the top of its front page with 1,469 words, a color text box, and photos (see this).
Yesterday (Sat. January 27, 2007), the Times published its latest adulatory piece, "Early on, Obama showed talent for bridging divisions." It was on the front page, and it featured a nice, smiling photo of a youthful Obama with more pics inside. (See an image of the piece.) It runs a generous 1,204 words, and let's just say the Obama camp won't be calling the Times to complain. It's a pretty sweet profile. ("Interviews with more than a dozen people associated with the law review, both liberals and conservatives, found no one who did not profess respect for Obama." You get the idea.)
There's no sign that the Los Angeles Times is planning to correct, clarify or explain an embarrassingly negligent passage from this past week. On Tuesday (1/23/07), the Times published a front-page piece called, "Scant evidence found of Iran-Iraq arms link." In alleging that there are few Iranian arms in Iraq, the writers asserted (emphasis mine):
"During a recent sweep through a stronghold of Sunni insurgents here, a single Iranian machine gun turned up among dozens of arms caches U.S. troops uncovered."
As NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein wrote Tuesday, the Iranian government is a Shia government working in opposition to Sunnis in Iraq. (Even the writers of the article appear to know this.) Therefore, it should not be news that there are not a lot of Iranian machine guns turning up among Sunnis. As Mark reported, Keith Olbermann made an utter fool of himself on Tuesday by parroting the Times' line on his show. Asked Mark, "Would you (Keith) be stunned to be told that not much weaponry from Hamas supporters turns up in the hands of the Israelis?"
In a sign of just how much the Internet is changing the way people get their news, the Los Angeles Times rolled out a new strategy Wednesday designed to focus more attention on web-based delivery.
As reported by the Associated Press (h/t Drudge): “The Los Angeles Times Media Group said Wednesday it is reorganizing the newspaper's newsroom into an around-the-clock operation with an emphasis on breaking news on its Web site and offering expanded coverage in its print edition.”
Certainly, one could ask: What took you so long? After all, though most dailies have a web presence that updates news that is reported throughout the day by the nation’s various wire services, most original content is reserved for publication at the start of the new day.
Unfortunately, in an Internet world, this makes such content stale and “old news.” It therefore seems that the LA Times has finally realized what many have known for years:
One phrase you won't find in the AP/Times articles is "pro-life." Why? As Reuters widely reported in 2004 (here), the paper adheres "to a strict Times policy banning the phrase 'pro-life' as offensive to people who support abortion." (The paper appears only to allow the phrase if a person is being quoted using it.) Does the AP have the same policy as well? The AP article alternates between using the words "abortion foes" and "abortion opponents" to label pro-lifers in its article. In their headline and the first paragraph, the Times scrubbed the AP's use of the word "foes" and replaced it with "opponents." What's going on? (By the way: In 2004, this ridiculous policy of banning the phrase "pro-life" resulted in a hilarious episode in which the Times scrubbed the words in an opera review and replaced it with "anti-abortion" - even though the opera had nothing to do with abortion. Read the hilarity here.)
Today (Sunday, January 21, 2007), the Los Angeles Times toasted Sen. Hillary Clinton's entrance into the 2008 race. Her announcement of a presidential exploratory committee was met with a whopping 2,050-word, front-page article ("Clinton joins 2008 race for president") (see image).
As we reported on Wednesday (here), the Times celebrated Sen. Obama's announcement of an exploratory committee with front-page treatment, accompanying photos, and a generous 1,469 words.
But how has the Times been treating similar announcements by Republicans?
In the course of her recent Los Angeles Times column, Rosa Brooks wrote this about the levels of electricity and oil production in Iraq:
"Before the U.S. invasion, the . . . residents of Baghdad used 16 to 24 hours of electricity each day. Today, thanks to us, they thriftily make do with about six hours of electricity a day . . . Oil production is still well below prewar levels."
Alarms went off for me when I read Brooks' claims. They were largely at odds with what I had learned when I interviewed in Baghdad in November the directors of the electricity and oil sectors of the Gulf Region Division of the Army Corps of Engineers - the people responsible for overseeing the reconstruction of those elements, among others, of Iraq's infrastructure.
You could sense the revelry as the Los Angeles Times featured Sen. Barack Obama's announcement on the top of its front page (Wednesday, January 17, 2007). (See the image.) Along with the 1469-word article is a color photo of Barack and a colored box highlighting his "Background," "Experience," and "Education." Inside, with the continuation of the article, is another generous photo of Barack, this one covering over 30 square inches. The article gushes that Obama is a "charismatic speaker" who "has been enthusiastically received by audiences around the country."
Tim Rutten writes a weekly column for the Los Angeles Times called "Regarding Media." We have reported on his anti-conservative bias in several past posts, including here, here, here, here, and here.
Today's column (Sat. Jan. 13, 2007) addresses issues surrounding Gov. Mitt Romney's Mormonism. While the overall motive of the article may be well taken, Rutten presents a seriously faulty view within his piece. Rutten asserts that America's "social sanity" and "sensible accommodation" are being "undermined" by the "demands of social conservatives." Begins Rutten,
Considering that Boxer is from California, it would be interesting to see how the Los Angeles Times reported the Senator's outrageous words. Like I said, it would be interesting to see. There is not a syllable about the exchange in today's paper (Friday, January 12, 2007). Rather, when Boxer's "emotional confrontation" in the hearings was mentioned in today's front-page article, the Times focused on how Boxer "recalled Rice's erroneous prediction to the committee in fall 2005 that the Iraqi army's increasing capabilities would soon permit a drawdown of U.S. troops." Ugh. There was no mention of Boxer's verbal attack at all.
In case you haven't seen it, over on The Corner, Jonah Goldberg shared correspondence on the AP's Jamil Hussein problem from Michael Schrage, a former reporter for the Washington Post and columnist for the Los Angeles Times unleashing on the "mainstream" media:
Subject: You are, indeed, missing something -
I wrote this piece for the washington post a year ago. It speaks for itself...but the jamail hussein saga is a classic example of unprofessional, plame-like hypocrisy by the AP...
They named their source - many, many times - and it was challenged...there was a myriad of ways they could have handled the query: they could have called in a favor and gotten one of the AP-member newspapers in iraq to 'interview' the guy to vouch; they could have done a podcast with the guy; if the bloggers still insisted the guy was a fraud, then AP itself would be literally accused of not just perpetrating a hoax but perpetuating one...
INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana's law that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls is not too burdensome, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said Thursday in a 2-1 ruling that upholds the 2005 law.
..... The 7th U.S. Circuit Court questioned arguments that Indiana's rule is unfair to poor, elderly, minority and disabled voters, and pointed out that opponents could not find anyone unable to cast a ballot under the new law.
..... Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita, who pushed for the voter ID law, said the ruling was a victory for election reform.
"The seventh circuit affirmed what we have seen from four successful elections in Indiana under the photo ID law - this is a common-sense way to protect honest voters and to improve voter confidence," he said.
Judge Terence T. Evans dissented with the majority opinion, which affirms an earlier decision of U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker. Evans said there was no evidence of voter fraud in Indiana that could be avoided with the photo ID law.
"Let's not beat around the bush," Evans wrote. "The Indiana voter photo ID law is a not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic."
And the winner of this year’s Media Research Center award for the worst quote of 2006 is...you! Well, only if “you” are Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the liberal activist who is also publisher of the New York Times. Sulzberger “won” for his May 21 commencement address in which he declared abortion and gay marriage were “fundamental human rights” and decried how America was “fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land.”
For our 19th annual Best Notable Quotables issue, the Media Research Center asked a panel of 58 distinguished media observers (top radio hosts, columnists, editorial page writers, etc.) to select their choices for the most outrageous quotes of the year in 16 different categories (such as the “Good Morning Morons” category, or the “Cranky Dinosaur Award for Trashing New Media”).
You might think the media, given the fact that they helped engineer a Democratic victory in the midterms, and that it’s almost Christmas (sorry, Holiday), would ease their assault on President Bush. And you would be wrong. "Hardball" host Chris Matthews recently remarked that President Bush is demonstrating "messianic nuttiness." CNN’s Jack Cafferty finds it "strange" that Democrats aren’t racing to impeach President Bush.
Over on MSNBC, the reliably biased Keith Olbermann has become completely unhinged. On December 9, he smeared Bush as "authoritarian" and the "worst ever" president. But, Keith, do you like him or not?
On CBS, "Evening News" host Katie Couric labeled Bush’s new poll numbers "devastating" and "stunning."
But not all politicians are bad, especially those with that "D" next to their names. Long time ABC reporter Barbara Walters named Nancy Pelosi the "most fascinating person of 2006." And, no, the network did not bestow a similar honor on Newt Gingrich in 1994. "The Los Angeles Times" provided an even more glowing description, calling the San Francisco Congresswoman an "American Everywoman."
The Baltimore Sun wasn’t alone in promoting Nancy Pelosi, not even among its fellow newspapers in the Tribune publishing group. On Monday, in a story headlined "Pelosi Piques Public's Interest," Los Angeles Times reporter Faye Fiore portrayed Pelosi as an object of public fascination:
As Pelosi prepares to be sworn in Jan. 4 as the first female speaker of the House, she has become an object of fascination and curiosity in political circles and beyond. Barbara Walters interviewed her as one of the year's 10 most fascinating people. People magazine has written about her twice in recent weeks. An article in a Palm Springs newspaper ran with the headline: "How To Get the Nancy Pelosi Look." (Answer: an Armani suit.)
Only weeks ago, Republicans were doing their best in the heat of the campaign to paint Pelosi, 66, as a conservative's nightmare — a San Francisco liberal out of touch with the American mainstream. But more recently, a poll measuring political charisma showed that she had "dramatically improved her standing" with the public, sponsors of the survey said, with voters knowing her better and feeling warmer toward her.
"The expanding outbreak of E. coli poisonings in New York, New Jersey and several other states underscores the need for more rigorous regulation of the whole supply chain for fresh produce . . . Surely it is time to give government regulators the power and resources they need to ensure the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables." - NY Times editorial, Sickened by Fresh Produce, 12/09/06
"[Taco Bell owner] Yum Brands is feeling the financial fallout on Wall Street, as two analysts downgraded its stock, citing the potential effects of customers' food safety concerns. Shares fell $1.36 to $59.72 on Friday. The stock has fallen 5.6% in the last three sessions." - Taco Bell feels fallout from E. coli outbreak, LA Times, 12/9/06
I told you that watching the Dems' internecine battles was going to be fun. The slap the NY Times took at the Dem leadership today for backing away from its pledge to reform Congress as part of implementing the 9-11 panel recommendations was just an hors d'ouevre. In a column in today's Los Angeles Times, Arianna Huffington serves up a heaping main course, feasting on Hillary's foibles.
All you really need to know about how Huff feels about Hil is to have a look at the photo here from the LA Times that accompanies Arianna's column. But let's plunge on with these excerpts from Hillary's too vane to be president:
"While the country is urgently engaged in finding a way out of the quagmire in Iraq, Hillary Rodham Clinton is busy holding private dinners for key Democrats from primary states."
"A politician more comfortable following than leading."
Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony certainly deserves his rightful share of criticism and rebuke for his handling of the church abuse scandal. However, a front-page headline in today's Los Angeles Times (Saturday, December 2, 2006) delivers an unfair and misleading impression over supposed "inaction" by the Cardinal.
Yesterday the Los Angeles Archdiocese announced it will pay a $60 million settlement to 45 people who say they were abused by Catholic priests. Today's Times reported the news with five articles, five photos, and 5078 words. (Two articles are on the front page: one is the major headline at the top of the page, and another is at the fold. The five articles I've counted also include a 'Q&A' piece and a Church-bashing commentary by staffer Steve Lopez.)
A November 30, 2006, article by Los Angeles Times staff writer Seema Mehta is entitled, "Evangelical pastor, Obama join forces to battle AIDS." In an unflattering passage on evangelicals, Mehta forwards the claim, "They [evangelical Christians] remain one of the religious groups slowest to respond to the pandemic [AIDS]."
Mehta's claim simply isn't true. What is one way that we know this? Mehta's own newspaper editors directly debunk her on the very same day as her article!
The Christian, the Christian conservative, and the Bush administration record on efforts to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS and to care for the sick, suffering and dying millions, is a story of caring for human suffering which the MSM has little interest in sharing with the voting public.
In yesterday's LA Times, in a painfully difficult lead editorial, Christian conservatives vs. Aids, the paper, as most mainstream journalists can clearly relate, finds it difficult to enlighten their previously uneducated readers, that these folks are on the front lines and are leading the way in addressing the world's HIV/Aids problem. Further, the LA Times finds it especially difficult to give President Bush any personal credit for his leadership. As they see it:
Non-Californians probably haven't heard much about the case of a former Los Angeles firefighter Tennie Pierce's lawsuit against the city over an incident in which a colleague tricked him into eating dog food. According to Pierce, who is black, it was a racist act for which he is demanding compensation of $2.7 million.
That, however, isn't the full story. But if you're a reader of the Los Angeles Times, you'd never know it, despite the fact that the paper has covered the case with numerous reports.
What the Times refuses to tell readers is that Pierce is a big guy, 6 feet 4 inches, whose self-described nickname is "Big Dog" and that during volleyball matches, he would often tell teammates to pass him the ball or "feed the Big Dog."
The Times has had many opportunities to mention these facts but has (as documented by Patterico here) never once told the entire truth. The readers of the Times deserve better. But don't hold your breath expecting that.
Los Angeles Times media reporter Matea Gold is the latest journalist to push Keith Olbermann as a hot commodity now that he's boldly captured about one-fifth as many viewers as Bill O'Reilly. True, his left-wing howling at the moon may match the incoming Democrat committee leaders like John Conyers, but he's still denying he has an identifiable political agenda. The other unintentionally hilarious moment is his dismissal of Rush Limbaugh as a fabricator. When Robert Cox of Olbermann Watch suggested to the Times that Olbermann is as demagogic as his nemesis O'Reilly, Keith responded:
"I'm not trying to whip up a political frenzy," he said. "If I was out there every night beating people over the head with this, I would become a Rush Limbaugh. That's not my goal. I don't make the facts up to fit the political viewpoint that happens to parallel what it is I'm trying to express."
And here I thought I was joking. Yesterday, I closed this item on Maureen Dowd's column - in which she longed for an Iraqi dictator to whom to surrender - by wondering whether we should "look for Dowd to pop up in Baghdad sometime soon, leading a 'Bring Back Saddam' movement?"
But the appeal of bringing back Saddam is apparently no laughing matter in liberal circles. In today's Los Angeles Times, New Republic editor Jonathan Chait - he of "Bush Hatred" fame - has written a column entitled, yes, "Bring back Saddam Hussein." I kept reading for a clue that this was a Swiftian modest proposal. It never came. Chait apparently means it. Excerpts:
It started with this post at One Oar in the Water, comparing the LA Times' reporting of an incident at Ramadi to portions of a soldier's e-mail about the same incident.
Since it concerned a story allegedly seriously misreported by the Los Angeles Times, it seemed only logical for yours truly to ask Patterico, the blogosphere's designated LA Times fisker, to investigate further.
Thankfully, he did, and, as usual, he has done a splendid job. The LA Times' "Silent Solomon" Moore (you'll see why he gets the nickname from me when you read the post) does not come off looking good. Or maybe he should be called Solomon "Room Service" Moore.
There is no substitute for reading the whole thing, but here are Patterico's core findings:
We all know about actor Michael Richards' racial epithets at last Friday night's performance at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. But yesterday, this exclusive TMZ.com article revealed that the three-time Emmy-award-winning actor had also hurled anti-Semitic slurs at the Improv comedy club in April of this year. According to the piece, Richards yelled at an audience member, "You f***ing Jew. You people are the cause of Jesus dying." And here's the kicker: Richards' own representative has confirmed that this actually happened. (He said it was part of Richards' act.)
So how did the Los Angeles Times cover this latest revelation in today's paper (Thursday, November 23, 2006)? They didn't. In fact, the name "Michael Richards" appears nowhere in today's edition. Compared to the Mel Gibson episode from July, the Times is treating the angry slurs by Michael Richards much differently. Here's the rundown:
Now that the Democrats have picked their Majority Leader in the House the outcome gives us (and her) the first hint that Speaker Pelosi is not the powerhouse she thought she was. Her man, Murtha, lost in a landslide: 149 to 86... a thumpin' to say the least.
In my last report on how the MSM covered this little inter Dem fight I pointed out that they were ignoring how distant were the two positions on pulling out of Iraq that is held by the erstwhile candidates for Majority Leader.
I noted how they refused to portray Murtha's position as "extreme", even as he supports pulling out of Iraq immediately to Hoyer's, who does not. I noted that the MSM did not waste much breath contrasting Murtha's position with the far less volatile position held by Hoyer.
It seems strangely inconsistent that the MSM ignored the Iraq war issue in their stories since they made the entire recent election all about Iraq and how it is a mess and that our soldiers should come home. Yet, a guy who does not want an immediate pull out defeated Murtha and this fact went uncommented upon.