At this point, how many people are interested in hearing more preachy justifications from newspaper editors about their decision to spill the beans on anti-terror programs? Yada yada yada, the sensitive balance between legitimate secrecy needs in time of war and the public's right to know. Yeah, we get it.
But there were Dean Baquet and Bill Keller, editors of the LA and NY Times respectively, with an op-ed this morning humming that tired 'on the one hand, on the other' sing song . Things reached their apotheosis of annoyingness [poetic license in the name of alliteration] when the duo approvingly cited WaPo editor Robert Kaiser editor thusly:
As fellow NewsBuster Mithridate Ombud noted today, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll has flatly accused the Bush administration of anti-Semitism in its criticism of The New York Times for its latest leak of an anti-terror program. Claimed Carroll:
"The Times is a good target... Also, the name of the New York Times contains the word 'New York.' Many members of the president's base consider 'New York' to be a nifty code word for 'Jewish.' It is very nice for the president to be able to campaign against the Jews without (a) actually saying the word "Jew" and (b) without irritating the Israelis."
Is this an emerging MSM theme? Perhaps, judging by Chris Matthews' line of questioning on this evening's Hardball.
HUGH HEWITT: Is it possible, in your view, Doyle McManus, that the story will in fact help terrorists elude capture?
DOYLE McMANUS: It is conceivable, yeah, although it might be worth noting that in our reporting, officials told us that this would, this disclosure would probably not affect al Qaeda, which figured out long ago that the normal banking system was not how it ought to move its money, and so turned to other unofficial and informal channels ...
Today's Los Angeles Times (Sunday, June 25, 2006) features coverage of Erotica LA (warning: adult content), an adult X-rated retail expo, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. In a page B1 article entitled "More Couples, Women Turn On to Erotica Expo,"Times staffer Robin Abcarian begins by relaying a lesson in "spanking" being taught by a "dominatrix" by the name of Georgia Payne. (The subject matter itself is questionable for a "family" newspaper, but that's a separate issue entirely.) In the process, Abcarian used Payne's words to take a swipe at Catholics.
Payne, who earns $250 an hour, was about to demonstrate the fine art of spanking, which — contrary to what you might think — is not as simple as it looks. The hand should be cupped, not flat, she explained, and positioned on the lower part of the buttocks, never at the top, never on the leg and never ever near the tailbone.
"If your husband went to Catholic school," the 32-year-old Payne said with a sly smile, "he's probably secretly dying for it."
This is an oldie, but it says something interesting. For the June 6 paper, Los Angeles Times writer Scott Collins interviewed ABC's George Stephanopoulos on his show This Week rising in the ratings a bit. When you think network hosts (especially ones with campaign-flack backgrounds) see themselves as earnest referees and not players in politics, remember this:
Q: Do you miss politics?
GS:I'm in it every week!
Q: You know what I mean.
GS: No. I've been doing this a long time. I've been doing this for 10 years now — not as anchor, but I left the White House 10 years ago. I'm committed to doing this.
Let me share a little trade secret. Lately, when I've been on the prowl for something to write about, I go to the editorial page of the Los Angeles Times. It's a treasure trove over there, I tell ya!
Take this morning's editorial - 'Battling over Bishops' - in which the Times decides to wade into the controversy roiling the Episcopal Church. Here's the kernel of the Times' argument
"What both controversies [over homosexual and female clergy] have in common is not only a fixation on sex and gender but also the challenge of deciding what religious practices can and should change with the times."
Upon the recent discovery that 500 chemical weapons have been found in Iraq, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), with Rep. Pete Hoesktra (R-MI) at his side, announced yesterday (Wed. June 21, 2006) some stunning news: "We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons." If you thought such an eye-opening story would merit at least a syllable or two in today's Los Angeles Times (Thu. June 22, 2006), think again. There is not a single word on the story in today's paper. Of course, the Times found plenty of room above the fold on their front page to play up the charges of murder against U.S. troops: "8 U.S. Troops Charged in Iraqi's Death."
In so many ways does the mainstream press demean conservatives who work on environmental issues.
In this Los Angeles Times piece by Jim Puzzanghera, conservatives wary of the Henry Paulson nomination are described as "causing problems" for Paulson because Paulson likes to watch birds.
Here's how the article begins:
WASHINGTON - As a three-decade Wall Street veteran and chairman of one of the nation's premiere investment banks, Henry M. Paulson Jr. makes a living watching markets.
But it's his hobby of watching birds that is already causing problems for his nomination as the nation's next Treasury secretary.
An ardent environmentalist, Paulson is expected to be questioned during confirmation hearings about his role as chairman of the Nature Conservancy, and whether he adequately cleaned up the organization's questionable land sale and tax break practices. Another potential sticky issue: a decision by Goldman Sachs, the investment bank Paulson heads as chairman and chief executive, to donate 680,000 acres of land in a remote section of Chile to an environmental group with ties to his son...
An article in today's Los Angeles Times (Sunday, June 18, 2006) on the Presidential ambitions of U.S. Senators is accompanied by an informational box with photos and brief profiles of various Senators. The box was compiled by Times staffer Janet Hook.
Can you catch the problems?
George Allen, Virginia: A favorite of some conservatives for 2008, but first has to fight to win reelection to the Senate in 2006.
Sam Brownback, Kansas: Very close to religious conservatives, having built his Senate career around issues they care most about, such as opposing abortion and stem-cell research.
What do you call someone who rips off the American taxpayer by spending Katrina relief funds on champagne, "Girls Gone Wild" videos or gambling sprees? Why, a "victim," of course. At least, you do if you're an editorial writer at the Los Angeles Times.
The sub-headline in the editorial in today's LA Times reads like a parody of liberal paternalism gone wild: "It's Wrong to Blame Victims for Spending Irresponsibly." No, that's not a misprint.
While acknowledging that the 16% of improper expenditures 'is indeed high', the Times doesn't want us to get all worked up about it: "some misuse of the FEMA-issued debit cards is hardly shocking."
As this op-ed column from today's Los Angeles Times illustrates, the MSM and the left-dominated American academy continue to side, in the name of 'human rights', against measures designed to protect us from another 9/11 and with those who might potentially do us harm.
Author David Cole, a law professor at Georgetown University and volunteer attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, was co-counsel to the plaintiffs in Turkmen vs. Ashcroft. He condemns the district court ruling in that case, which, as described in this article from Jurist, held:
You'd think that President Bush's surprise visit to Iraq would warrant a big front-page headline in one of the country's largest newspapers. Yet today's print edition of the Los Angeles Times (Wednesday, June 14, 2006) blares the headline, "Crackdown Underway in Baghdad." A reference to the surprise visit is relegated to the sub-headline, and only a tiny 1.75" x 2" photo of President Bush and Prime Minister Minister Maliki occupies the page. The far-more appropriate title is platooned to the continuation of the story on page A24: "Bush Visits Iraq Ahead of Major Sweep."
The Times appears to be continuing its practice of downplaying good news for the Bush administration (here and here are just a couple of many examples; see also this).
In his latest "Regarding Media" column in the Los Angeles Times (Sat. June 10, 2006), the perpetually clueless Tim Rutten claims that author Ann Coulter is a "pornographer" and her latest tome is "pornography" and "hate." ("Like most pornographers ... [Coulter] is resourceful in the service of her own economic and other interests.") In addition, Rutten expounds (emphases mine),
Bin Laden Far More Difficult to Find than Zarqawi, Officials say
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Although the U.S. military located and killed the
most wanted terrorist in Iraq, finding Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden
remains a tougher task, officials and analysts said Thursday....
Steve Lopez of the LA Times wants a cookie from conservatives after [his claim] the newspaper "both gutted and fileted" two democrats.
I'm just wondering why the paper hasn't gotten huzzahs from the professional gas bags who worked themselves into a frenzy three years ago over our equally tough reporting on a candidate named Arnold Schwarzenegger.
First, the reason might have something to do with the fact that there were no republicans running in that race for the LA Times to "gut and filet." This was a primary. Let's see the Times do that when an election is at stake. Second, if you have to write an article pointing out that you finally took a pair of democrats to task, and beg for praise because of it, what does that tell us about your conscious and previous reporting?
Have John and Ken of radio fame weighed in on The Times' coverage? To be honest, I wouldn't know. I'd rather stick my head in a kettle drum and beat it with a soup spoon than listen to these guys... I called Ken Khachigian, my favorite GOP consultant, even though he worked with Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, to ask if he'd heard any Republicans complimenting The Times' tough coverage of Westly and Angelides.
So conservative pundits are "gas bags," you'd rather stick your head in a kettle drum and beat it with a spoon rather than listen to a conservative on the radio, and you called someone despite the fact that they worked for conservative Presidents. And with this dripping distain that flows newspaper-wide for anything right of MoveOn.org, you're looking for fairness accolades?!?!
Earlier today, the Los Angeles Times reported that Pentagon officials were considering
dropping Article 3 of the Geneva Convention from FM 34-52, the Army's
field manual on interrogation. While the Pentagon has not reached a
final decision on the potential modifications to FM 34-52, the Times
and USA Today certainly have. Follow the escalation.
"The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet
of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans "humiliating and
degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a
step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from
strict adherence to international human rights standards."
Goldhagen wrote in the Times in reference to Pope Benedict's recent appearance at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. The smears and invectives from Goldhagen are numerous. He baselessly asserts an "unavoidable causal, historical and moral link connecting the church, the Nazis and Auschwitz" while staking his bogus claim of "a connection between the Catholic Church, Christianity and the Holocaust." Goldhagen then accuses Pope Benedict of "clouded historical understanding" and "whitewashing of the past."
NBC's David Gregory wasn't the only liberal reporter who just had to emphasize The Economist magazine's cover calling President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair the "Axis of Feeble." At CJR Daily, Paul McLeary noted it became a hot trend. So why would this bother liberal Columbia Journalism Review folks? Because it's lazy. "Great headline," said McLeary, but "The sad thing is, they all probably thought they were being funny and original, and in a sense they were -- but in lockstep. And that's what strikes us as feeble."
It seems what the media likes in this is how it turns Bush's phrase back on itself, and comments on how both Bush and Blair are lame-duck leaders. But if they are "feeble," er, what about the sub-par politicians who couldn't seem to defeat their attempts at re-election? Here's McLeary's roundup of mentions:
On May 24th, the L.A. Times printed the oddest Opinion Editorial on the subject of making English the national language. "American Spoken Here" was written by David Eggenschwiler, professor emeritus of English at USC, but I defy anyone to tell me what the thing was really about? (For article Click here)
For a professor of English, Eggenschwiler didn't express himself very well, it's sad to say, and after reading -- and re-reading -- the good Professor's piece I was struck by the fact that it isn't clear at all what he was on about. I suppose, though, that one might be a fine professor of English yet still not be much of a creative writer. At least, I hope that this is possible. In any case, it is hard to decipher if he was being sarcastic, sincere or jocular.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Michigan) wrote an op-ed in Saturday’s Los Angeles Times that should be must reading for all Americans, especially those that believe the leaking of national security information is actually a good thing if it helps your party regain power. In it, Hoekstra practically attacked USA Today for its recent front-page article concerning the National Security Agency collecting domestic phone records:
“WE ARE IN the first war of the Information Age, and we have a critical advantage over our enemy: We are far better at gathering intelligence. It's an advantage we must utilize, and it's keeping us safe. But every time classified national security information is leaked, our ability to gather information on those who would do us harm is eroded.”
Hoekstra continued: “We suffered a setback Thursday when USA Today ran a front-page story alleging that the National Security Agency was collecting domestic phone records. This article hurt our efforts to protect Americans by giving the enemy valuable insights into the Terrorist Surveillance Program, which has been focused like a laser beam on Al Qaeda and its known associates.”
Hoekstra then stepped forward to defend the actions of the NSA and the president:
Headlines in the May 8 edition of the Los Angeles Times read “GOP Can Win by Limiting Losses.” The article claims that “Discontent with the nation’s direction and the federal government’s performance is virtually screaming from public opinion surveys, which show approval ratings for President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress falling to their lowest levels.”
The article then goes on to report how GOP office holders are attempting to localize their races in an effort to escape what they perceive to be a national image of “Republicans being a rubber stamp for Bush...”
But, is that really a true perception? From a very unofficial viewing of three diversified groups in the southern tip of Texas, by this writer would be the distinct impression that everyone views Washington and Congress as nothing more than bombast and blather.
The runaway success of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel, founded on
the premise that other news outlets are biased, is the source
of much anger to lefty journalists. Most elite journalists I've encountered hate the network and the fact that it's broken through the liberal glass ceiling of news.
A great example of this was a Monday column
in the LA Times by Scott Collins which instead of leading with a 38
percent ratings drop at CNN (something that's causing turmoil and
repeated personnel shifts), focused on a 17 percent drop at FNC.
Inside the article, Collins allows CNN president Jonathan "Pajamas"
Klein to comment on why the rival network has fallen [by half the
amount his has]. Perennial ratings dropout Keith Olbermann is also
Max Boot, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes in the LA Times that this year's Pulitzer prizes "reflect a startling degree of animus toward the commander in chief in wartime."
On June 7, 1942, shortly after the Battle of Midway, the Chicago Tribune carried a scoop: "Navy Had Word of Jap Plan to Strike at Sea." The story, written by a correspondent who had seen intelligence reports left in an officer's cabin, reported that the U.S. knew in advance the composition of the Japanese fleet. It didn't say where this information came from, but senior officers privy to the U.S. success in breaking Japanese codes were apoplectic at this security breach. The Justice Department convened a grand jury to consider whether to charge the Tribune and its flamboyant owner, editor and publisher, Col. Robert McCormick, with a violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.
The Los Angeles Times announced Thursday that it is suspending the blog of a columnist after another blogger exposed him for posting comments under various pseudonyms defending both himself and the newspaper.
The columnist, Michael Hiltzik, had used at least three aliases on a number of sites (including his own blog), occasionally using them to converse with each other. Hiltzik was exposed by long-time LAT watcher Patrick Frey who blogs at Patterico's Pontifications.
"The Times has suspended Michael Hiltzik’s Golden State blog on
latimes.com," the paper said in a posting. "Hiltzik admitted Thursday that he posted items on the
paper’s website, and on other websites, under names other than his own.
That is a violation of The Times ethics guidelines, which requires
editors and reporters to identify themselves when dealing with the
public. The policy applies to both the print and online editions of the
newspaper. The Times is investigating the postings."
Matt Drudge has linked to a Los Angeles Times article by Robin Abcarian about Katie Couric's perpetual association with the P-word: "perky." She is NOT happy with the word.
A spokesman for Couric, who declined to be interviewed for this story, said he thinks the word has attached to her like a limpet because of simple journalistic laziness. "It's an incomplete depiction of a versatile multidimensional success story," said Matthew Hiltzik.
Following up on a piece in the New York Observer, Abcarian quotes Connie Chung complaining about the G-word ("gravitas") as sexist. (Earth to Connie: if you didn't want to be stuck with allegedly demeaning labels, you should have told Dan Rather that there was NO way you were co-anchoring from Tonya Harding's skating rink.) Here's how it goes:
When Hillary Clinton charged that the House Republican immigration bill would "criminalize...Jesus himself," there was national-media notice – if not criticism. Even Hillary’s "hometown" newspaper The New York Times reported on March 23 that Senator Clinton intensified her criticism of Republican immigration proposals, albeit on page B-5. But no one in the story criticized Hillary for her harsh attack. Instead, reporter Nina Bernstein noted only critics to Hillary’s left: "Mrs. Clinton had been criticized by some immigrant activists for saying little about the issue until March 8, and then speaking at an Irish-only rally, rather than at a forum more representative of immigrants. But yesterday all seemed forgiven." Bernstein’s story, headlined, "Mrs. Clinton Says GOP Immigration Plan Is At Odds With The Bible," began:
Joel Stein is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times – officially a "humor" columnist, but that’s a matter of debate. A few months ago, he drew attention for baldly stating he did not support the troops in the Iraq war, and that "an army of people ignoring their morality is horrifying."
Last week, he decided to mock the Federal Communications Commission for a $3.6 million fine of individual CBS stations for airing a teenager-orgy scene on the Thursday night drama "Without A Trace." But a funny thing happened on the way to the Janet Jackson jokes. He asked CBS for a DVD of the episode: "And, to my shock, I was honestly disgusted."
"A Sliding Scale for Victory" is another; it's a "news analysis" with the sub-head, "As the conflict in Iraq enters its fourth year and civil war threatens, the Bush administration is again working to lower expectations."
It's just another day on the op-ed pages of the Los Angeles Times, right? Wrong. It's the above-the-fold front page (.pdf image) of Sunday's paper (March 19, 2006).
What is the gist of Kaplan's nasty and condescending article ("Claude Allen's life sentence," 3/15/06)? Kaplan surmises that Mr. Allen's "compromises" and "cognitive dissonance" as a conservative black male may have taken a "psychological toll" on him. She then questions if this caused Allen to "finally crack under the pressure."
It doesn't get much more hostile and arrogant than this, folks. Writes Kaplan (emphasis mine),
Mainstream outlets love it when Republicans knock their own, don't they? Sunday's opinion section of the Los Angeles Times (March 12, 2006, called "Current") devoted no less than four articles to a Bush-bashing feature called "Conservative Crackup." The theme? Because of President Bush, the GOP faces an "identity crisis" and "discomfort." Oh, yeah. And Iraq has been "an astonishing flop."
"Bush is not a conservative. He has bushwhacked the term. He is a right-wing ideologue," spits Jeffrey Hart ... "Democrat Bill Clinton's administration is looking more and more like the 'good old days'," writes Bruce Bartlett ... President Bush has "made the Democrats look like a credible alternative," claims Daniel Drezner.