On Saturday (2/19/11), the Los Angeles Times published an article, "Ex-high school principal gets 8 years for molesting four girls." The case involved Jonas Vital Silverio, who had pleaded no contest to 10 counts of lewd acts on a child 14 or 15 years old.
At first blush, the story seems to be just another stomach-turning account of child abuse in our nation's public schools. But buried in the middle of the article was a troubling detail:
[Los Angeles County] Prosecutor Stephanie Chavez said Silverio had a history of sexual misconduct.
In 1995, Silverio was placed on probation for a misdemeanor conviction of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
When conservatives gather behind closed doors, the left plans protests and counter events. When the left plans a closed-door meeting, it gets almost no attention at all.
Politico reported briefly on Feb. 16, that Democratic operatives will gather in early March for a private strategy conference. That has gotten little attention or criticism, yet when conservatives gather at the semiannual Koch conference the left mounts elaborate protests.
“Participants include Obama campaign pollsters Joel Benenson and Paul Harstad, the 2010 executive directors of the DSCC, DCCC, and DGA, Organizing for America deputy director Jeremy Bird, SEIU political director Jon Youngdahl, and current DSCC executive director Guy Cecil,” Politico’s Ben Smith said.
When the latest “semiannual confab of conservative activists” hosted by Charles and David Koch took place, people on the left from environmentalists to unions held a counter-meeting called “Uncloaking the Kochs.” The Los Angeles Times covered the protests and even linked to streaming video of the lefties’ event, but didn’t quote a single conservative in that story.
On Friday (2/4/11), the Los Angeles Times' Patrick Goldstein published a blog post with the title, "Bill O'Reilly on science: Why is Earth the only planet with a moon?"
Well, it would be somewhat noteworthy if O'Reilly actually asked such a question, considering the fact that most people know that several other planets in our solar system have moons. The problem is, as an accompanying video clearly shows, O'Reilly neither said nor implied any such thing.
Several media outlets are trumpeting a recent study out of Denmark that asserts that having an abortion does not increase the risk of mental health problems for women. Yet there are serious problems with the study that major media are not reporting:
1. The Danish study flies in the face of over 30 professional studies just in the past five years that conclude that there is a serious negative mental health impact on women who have abortions. The list of those studies is at the site of the Elliot Institute, TheUnChoice.com. Not one major media outlet reported this.
Liberal columnist Michael Kinsley made light of the Catholic Church's process of recognizing a saint in a Wednesday column for the Los Angeles Times, while simultaneously blasting the Church's opposition to embryonic stem cell research, claiming that the religion was a "main impediment" in developing a cure for Parkinson's disease.
When it comes to business reporting, the media often tow a pro-bigger government line at the expense of the private sector. Profit-motivated businessmen are often portrayed as much less sympathetic than the allegedly altruistic souls that comprise the nation's core of politicians and bureaucrats.
But from time to time, a news outlet does shine a spotlight on just how much of a pain in the neck bureaucracy can be, especially when it throws up numerous roadblocks to small businessmen and women.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Los Angeles Times's Cyndia Zwahlen served up such a story to readers of the November 22 paper.
First, I am grateful that Edenhofer, a German economist who is "co-chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Working Group III on Mitigation of Climate Change," has a last name on which searching is easy. I quickly determined that his name last name doesn't currently come up in searches at the Associated Press's main web site, the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Los Angeles Times.
That's because he hasn't said or done anything newsworthy, right? Wrong. What's newsworthy is my second reason for thanking him. First covered at NewsBusters yesterday by Noel Sheppard, and described this evening in an Investors Business Daily editorial, Mr. Edenhofer has proffered the principal motivation behind the "climate change movement" -- redistribution of wealth (bolds are mine):
Yesterday the California Supreme Court ruled "that illegal immigrants are entitled to the same in-state tuition breaks that are offered to citizens who attend public colleges and universities."
The Associated Press reports that "[t]he high court unanimously upheld a state law that says any student, regardless of immigration status, who attended a California high school for at least three years can qualify for in-state tuition that's much less than what out-of-state students pay."
The losing party in the case plans an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, so this may not be the final word on the issue.
Given that the Golden State is flat broke and illegal immigration is a hot button issue nationally, this sounds like a story worthy of mainstream media attention.
Yet it appears the story has been largely ignored or buried by the MSM thus far.
This past week, we learned that it was another year, another dive for newspaper circulations: 5% for dailies, and 4.5% on Sundays, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. That's not as bad as some past declines, but it's still going the wrong way.
As usual, they'll blame the Internet, and reject the possibility that persistent, pervasive bias and blind adherence to politically correct reporting priorities have anything to do with the results. But as I've similarly asked before, how does one explain away the fact that the only daily paper in the nation's top 25 that has shown consistent gains during the past several years is the (usually) fair and balanced Wall Street Journal?
Conservative Republican Senator "Jim DeMint relishes life on the Republican fringe," a teaser headline on the website for the Los Angeles Times noted this afternoon (see screen capture below at right).
"The South Carolina senator's refusal to compromise has made him a conservative hero. He showers cash on 'tea party' candidates like Sharron Angle and Rand Paul, but he's winning few friends in D.C.," reads the subheadline to Tribune newspapers Washington bureau writer Lisa Mascaro's October 18 story.
Liberals are so angry that conservatives are outspending them this election cycle, the president, MSNBC and left-wing bloggers have resorted to attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Liberal website Think Progress, an arm of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, claimed that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was soliciting foreign money and using it for political attack ads here in the United States. It’s a serious charge since it is illegal to spend foreign money on domestic elections, yet the left-wing group offered no evidence to support the charge.
Lee Fang of Think Progress appeared on MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” to present those allegations, but instead of supplying proof of wrongdoing Fang claimed the Chamber should prove their innocence. “They haven’t proved that there’s some firewall [for foreign funds]. They’re just saying, hey, trust us,” Fang said.
Olbermann ate up those claims, repeating them as fact and bashing the Chamber on multiple nights of his program. He even called the group “something like the Manchurian Chamber of Commerce” on Oct. 8.
Lee Abrams, the eccentric chief innovation officer for Tribune newspapers -- and no stranger to NewsBusters criticism -- has reportedly been suspended for sending co-workers a not-safe-for-work (NSFW) e-mail.
In the past eight days, ABC News has filed twoshocking stories about "a serious epidemic" of sexual abuse and rape of children in Kenya. Not only did the network report that "over 1,000 teachers have been fired for sexually abusing girls over the last two years," but it also relayed systemic cover-ups, police corruption, and perpetrator interference.
And while the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe have frantically and endlessly trumpeted decades-old abuse allegations in the Catholic Church from anywhere in the world, neither paper has found a single square inch to dedicate to these sickening new revelations.
The Los Angeles Times really wants you to know that Meg Whitman has taken more money from "special interests" than her Democratic opponent in the California gubernatorial race.
Not so high on its list of important facts: 97 percent of independent special interest contributions to third party groups have gone towards supporting Brown or defeating Whitman. Yet despite that fact, the Times still managed to run a story today claiming in the headline that "Donations to Whitman undercut her no-special-interests claim".
After a headline, a subheading, and two paragraphs stressing Whitman's $10.7 million in contributions from special interests - contrasted with Brown's $9.5 million - the Times finally gets around to mentioning that "those figures don't tell the whole story - unions and other special interests separately spent a further $13.7 million supporting Brown through independent political committees not controlled by the candidate" (h/t Patterico).
NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell sat down for a satellite interview this morning with Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney to discuss the recently-launched "Tell the Truth" campaign.
It's a very simple proposition, Stuart. I think it's time that the American people say simply to the media, tell the truth! Stop distorting stories. Stop projecting an agenda and calling it objective truth. Start reporting news. Tell the truth about what's going on in Washington. Tell the truth about the positions of these candidates. Stop playing politics with everything.... I want them to get the message loud and clear the public is sick and tired of this left-wing agenda masquerading as news.
A slightly skeptical Varney then asked the Media Research Center founder if he thinks that's always been the case:
So Knight's problem seems to be less that young children are being indoctrinated by politically-themed coloring books and more that conservatives are using the medium in an attempt to promote their cause among those children.
Today, eight city council members were arrested in Bell, California for what Los Angeles County District Attorney labeled "corruption on steroids." Thus far, every major news outlet that has reported on the story has omitted the fact that all eight individuals arrested are Democrats.
These glaring omissions come only weeks after NewsBusters reported that of the 351 stories on the then-brewing controversy, 350 had omitted party affiliations, and one had mentioned they were Democrats only in apologizing for not doing so sooner.
A new school will be opening in Los Angeles next Monday that is named after Nobel Laureate Al Gore and Rachel Carson, the woman almost single-handedly responsible for DDT being banned in the '70s.
Even more delicious than the names associated with the new $75.5-million Carson-Gore Academy of Environmental Sciences is that it was built on land thought to be highly-contaminated with various chemicals which could pose a threat to students.
Long-time Los Angeles Times political cartoonist Paul Conrad has died, but the most interesting paragraph of his obituary in The Washington Post is the little hint by Post writer Matt Schudel that great newspapers only gain that reputation once they become liberal:
He won his first Pulitzer in 1964, then left Denver for Los Angeles. Mr. Conrad's incisive cartoons, which he drew six days a week, helped raise the reputation of the once-moribund Times, which had parroted the Republican Party line for decades.
A similar version of this trope appeared in the Los Angeles Times itself in a story by James Rainey, but at least it suggested that there might be a difference between mediocre reporting and a Republican viewpoint. Conrad viciously attacked Nixon and Reagan with his pen, which was and is apparently the secret of media prestige:
Last week, film writer extraordinaire Christian Toto fell under the delusion that yours truly was interesting enough to interview, and if you're under the same delusion you can read the two-parter here and here. Among other things, Toto asked me about the clout critics wield and the most common mistakes they make. Here's a combination of my answers:
Critics aren't dumb, they know the public doesn't much care which way their thumbs point. But critics do know that based on their opinions and reviews they can enjoy an influence over what kind of films get made. And that's not a small amount of power. Culture is upstream from politics, after all.
If you have 95 percent of critics savaging a faithful retelling of the Gospels as anti-Semitic, no matter how successful "The Passion" is, no one's going to go near that subject matter again. And that's the goal. Same with anything that comes close to patriotism or conservatism. Such cinematic rarities are frequently labeled "jingoistic, fascist or simple minded." This is all done consciously and for a desired effect.
This is a historic year for the largest government program: Social Security, which turns 75 in just a few days. The program is also running a deficit for the first time since 1983, and ahead of estimates.
Initially, Social Security was created to provide supplemental income to elderly and disabled people who could not work, and was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt Aug. 14, 1935.
Social Security is in the red six years earlier than forecasted, and for the first time since 1983 (the last time the program was "fixed"). Downplaying the significance of the problem, The New York Times reported March 24, that the program is facing a "small" $29 billion shortfall this year because the high 9.5 percent unemployment rate is cutting into payroll tax collections that fund the program's benefits. Oh, and because there isn't actually a trust fund with all the money previously collected by people paying into the system.
Problems are mounting for the Social Security program which essentially is a government-created "Ponzi scheme." It was a boon for the earliest entrants to the program like Ida May Fuller. She was the recipient of the first monthly retirement check, in 1940, and continued to collect until her death in 1975. Fuller worked only three years under the system: paying in $24.75 in taxes. By the time of her death she had collected a total of $22,888.92 according to the Social Security Administration.
What follows was eminently predictable, but noting it is nonetheless necessary.
Shirley Sherrod, and to a lesser extent her husband Charles, were media celebrities for a while in late July. Readers might have noticed their near absence from establishment media news reports during the past seven days. It would be easy to think that this has occurred because the story played itself out, with nothing newsworthy to add.
That stopped being true on Monday, August 2, when a column by Ron Wilkins ("The Other Side of Shirley Sherrod") appeared in the leftist alternative publication Counterpunch.
Wilkins is currently a professor in the Department of Africana Studies (not misspelled) at Cal State University. He claims in the final sentence of his column that he is knowledgeable concerning what he is writing because "I was one of those workers at NCI." "NCI" is New Communities, Inc., described at a RuralDevelopment.org link as "the land trust that Shirley and Charles Sherrod established, with other black farm families in the 1960's."
Here's part of what Wilkins alleges (excerpted items are not in the same order as they originally appeared; out of order verbiage is identified):
Wouldn't you say that an important part of any election story would be the numbers involved, especially in the case of landslides? Perhaps someone should give a heads up on this to Los Angeles Times writer Noam N. Levey of the Times' Tribune Washington bureau. Although he does report that Missouri voters, whom he labels as "Republican voters," voted to approve Proposition C yesterday which challenged ObamaCare's requirement that Americans must purchase health insurance, the all important margin of the lopsided victory was noticeable by its absence. Reading Levey's article you wouldn't know if Proposition C was approved by 51 or 52 percent of Missouri voters or was the actual figure so much higher that Levey found it painful to relay that information?
Reporting from Washington — Striking a largely symbolic blow at President Obama's healthcare overhaul, Missouri voters approved a ballot measure Tuesday challenging the new law's requirement that Americans buy health insurance starting in 2014.
The proposition, which sought to deny the federal government the authority to penalize people for not getting insurance, is expected to have little practical effect on implementation of the healthcare law.
But the Missouri measure represented the first electoral test for the landmark legislation that Obama signed in March. And it underscored continued hostility to the law from Republican voters.
In nine short paragraphs, Los Angeles Times staffer Nicholas Riccardi offered readers a slanted look at how "Immigration demonstrations kick[ed] off in Arizona" yesterday, when the state's new anti-illegal immigration law went into effect [except for the portions ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge].
Reporting from Phoenix, Riccardi jumped straight away into loaded language (emphasis mine):
Opponents of Arizona's hard-line stance on illegal immigration launched a small religious procession from the state Capitol before dawn Thursday, the first of a series of demonstrations for the day the nation's strictest immigration law was due to take effect.
So who organized the religious procession? Is it purely a protest by otherwise apolitical religious folks, or were secular political interest groups involved? Riccardi didn't elaborate.
Fox Business is reporting that the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that President Obama signed recently includes a provision that exempts the Securities and Exchange Commission from responding to Freedom of Information Act requests. Fox wrote:
The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from "surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities." Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.
Several years ago, the media was confronted by several similar issues involving attempts by the Bush Administration to narrow the provisions of FOIA and exempt certain agencies from having to respond to requests filed under that act. The question that remains in these next few days as the media reports on this story is weather their response will be as condemnatory as it was when George W. Bush was in office.