Many readers may already be familiar with recent exposure of the treasury plunderers disguised as public officials serving up hefty salaries to themselves while allegedly serving their constituents in the LA suburb of Bell, California.
Here's some of the latest from the Associated Press, carried at the Los Angeles Times, which broke the original story, for those who need a quick catch-up. Almost as night follows day, the news doesn't answer a question many readers here and elsewhere will naturally have:
Several hundred angry residents from a modest blue-collar Los Angeles suburb marched Sunday to call for the resignation of the mayor and some City Council members in a protest sparked by the sky-high salaries of three recently departed administrators.
The residents of the city of Bell marched to Oscar's Korner Market and Carniceria, owned by Mayor Oscar Hernandez, then to his home, demanding that he reduce his own six-figure compensation or quit.
They then did the same with some members of the City Council, with many marchers wearing T-shirts that read "My city is more corrupt than your city."
If insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, liberal Hollywood directors must be utterly certifiable. How else does one explain Hollywood's penchant for de-Americanizing thoroughly patriotic superhero and/or comic book icons?
Take Joe Johnston. The cinematic genius who gave the world "Jurassic Park 3" is directing a "Captain America" feature that will release in 2011, the 70th anniversary of the Marvel superhero's creation.
The Los Angeles Times on Thursday published a blockbuster report concerning California welfare recipients using state-issued debit cards at casino ATMs to be able to instantly gamble with taxpayer dollars.
"The cards, provided by the Department of Social Services to help recipients feed and clothe their families, work in automated teller machines at 32 of 58 tribal casinos and 47 of 90 state-licensed poker rooms, the review found."
Despite this shocking revelation, America's media largely ignored the findings.
But before we get there, KTLA-TV logged a fabulous report on this subject Thursday evening (video follows with more highlights from the Times piece and commentary):
“8: The Mormon Proposition,” is a documentary detailing the large role the Mormon Church played in passing California’s Proposition 8 in 2008.That ballot initiative added an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. While the media has naturally been praising the documentary, the movie is so biased that even some reviewers couldn’t avoid pointing out how one-sided it is.
Directed by Reed Cowan, the film first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. “8: The Mormon Proposition” is narrated by Lance Dustin, who was the screenwriter for “Milk,” the movie about California’s first openly gay elected official.
The trailer features protestors, people upset about the passage of Proposition 8, and paints the Mormon Church negatively for influencing the outcome of Proposition 8.
Yesterday at the American Enterprise Institute's Enterprise Blog, Steven Hayward had a great post about the history of electric cars, and the press's unrequited love affair with electric vehicles (picture at right is of the $108,000 2010 Zedomax). Yum.
But first I'll start with a bit of my own research. On May 7, 1994, Paul Feldman at the Los Angeles Times led with the following two paragraphs about a company that would begin producing electric vehicles:
Electric Cars Touted as Plant Opens
Environmentalists and businessmen used the dedication Friday of a Carson-area electric vehicle assembly plant to tout the fledgling industry the week before the California Air Resources Board votes on moving forward with its mandate for mass-produced electric cars beginning in 1998.
The opening of the U.S. Electricar plant, which can convert up to 60 cars a month, demonstrates that adequate technology is available for major manufacturers to build the mandated 20,000 to 25,000 emission-free cars yearly.
A visit to this web page at the "U.S. Electricar Store" informs us of U.S. Electricar's status (bolds are mine):
The Los Angeles Times gave free press to artists who are against the Arizona immigration law on June 2. In “Arizona Law Spurs Backlash Among Artists,” author Reed Johnson documented what lefty artists are doing to help overturn the law, without presenting a single quote dissenting from the liberal artists’ positions.
Johnson inaccurately characterized the public as “deeply deeply divided over the Arizona law…” He must not have seen the Pew poll that found 59 percent of Americans approve of the law or the Wall Street Journal and NBC poll that discovered that 64 percent surveyed approve of the law. In an election, either number would constitute a landslide.
The movie "Prince of Persia" hit theaters this week. And although it's based on a decades-old video game and set in the sixth century, reviewers across the nation have identified a very contemporary link: The Tea Party.
McClatchy Newspapers's Connie Ogle writes that Alfred Molina, in the role of Amar, "plays a sort of cross between Han Solo with dental-hygiene issues and a Tea Party supporter." According to the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips, the character "spews anti-government and tax rhetoric straight out of a tea party rally." The Catholic News Services's John P. McCarthy notes: "Only the anti-government chatter of a mercenary sheik named Amar (Alfred Molina) elicits a few chuckles, since it echoes the contemporary Tea Party movement."
In his column in the Los Angeles Times, Jonah Goldberg covered a free-speech front that our politically correct news media do not want to touch: when "free expression" supporting a new Holocaust of the Jews in Israel is granted respect on campus. Goldberg was shocked by how one campus circled the wagons when David Horowitz spoke at an event on May 10 sponsored by Young Americans for Freedom:
Horowitz recently spoke at UC-San Diego. You can find an excerpt from his appearance on YouTube. In it, a young Muslim student from UCSD, Jumanah Imad Albahri, asks Horowitz to back up his attacks on the Muslim Students Assn. Horowitz turned the tables on her. In less than two minutes, she revealed herself as a supporter of the terrorist group Hamas. Horowitz then noted that Hezbollah, another terrorist organization, wants all Jews to return to Israel so they can be more conveniently liquidated in one place. Horowitz asks Albahri whether she's for or against that proposition. She is "for it."
I asked UCSD, via e-mail, whether the woman in question was censured in any way for endorsing bigotry and genocide, or if the video was somehow misleading. In response, I received boilerplate about how, in the tradition of Aristotle, UCSD treasures "discourse and debate" and how "the very foundations of every great university are set upon the rock-solid principles of freedom of thought and freedom of speech."
For the second year in a row, a state official has proposed eliminating the former Golden State's "welfare-to-work" program, which the rest of us know as "welfare," or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Last year, it was left to a spokesman for the state's Department of Finance to bring out the idea. This year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fronted it himself.
As has been the case for the almost four years I've been following the situation, the press once again universally failed to provide anything resembling context. If it did, people would understand that this is a story about a decade-long shocking level of theoretically well-intentioned waste (the cynical observation would be that the good intentions are tempered by the likelihood that dependent voters are overwhelmingly Democratic voters).
The as up to date as possible context (through September 30 of last year for recipients and families, the latest available government data; some estimation was required because certain data fields are blank) is this:
The cactus in the photo at right planted along the Arizona border with California gives a pretty good indication of the reaction of that state to the boycott directed at them by the Los Angeles city council over the new immigration law. However, what is the opinion of folks in California? If a Los Angeles Times poll showed overwhelming support for the boycott, do you not think this would be front page news? Well, the results were overwhelming...97.6% of the respondents to this L.A. Times poll were opposed to the boycott of Arizona. The poll question: "Was the L.A. City Council right to pass a boycott of Arizona?" Here are the results:
Yes. Arizona needs to feel the consequences of enacting a bad law. 2.1% (378 votes)
Yes, though the boycott should be more of a symbolic gesture than an official measure. 0.4% (64 votes)
No, but only because doing so is probably illegal and not in L.A.'s interest. 4.2% (771 votes)
No. The city should mind its own business. 93.4% (17,030 votes)
While Republicans were the most supportive, a full 45 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of independents polled supported the law. When broken down to the particulars of the bill, there was even broader support. For example, 65 percent of Democrats and and 73 percent of independents favored "requiring people to produce documents verifying legal status," the portion of the bill that has been derided as allowing the police to demand, "your papers please!"
These poll numbers are absolutely astounding, especially considering the media's non-stop campaign to denounce the law and paint it in an unfavorable light. Yet true to form, the media continue to downplay the results. A search this morning of the Web pages for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today found no links to articles about the poll numbers.
Nobel Laureate Al Gore purchased a $9 million mansion in the luxurious hills of Montecito, California, recently, and with the exception of the Los Angeles Times and Fox News, America's media couldn't care less.
You think it might be because the Gore-loving press wouldn't want people to consider the possibility that all of his global warming hysteria was really about lining his wallet and not saving the planet?
Formulate a response to that question as you look at what all that money the former Vice President is making off of spreading this myth can buy (h/t Doug Ross):
When we think of comic-book superheroes, most of us who grew up in the last century think of mild-mannered reporters, or perhaps urbane millionaires with a secret identity, who fight crime heroically. They collar the bad guys and deliver them to justice. Even the supervillains they’d fight always seemed to escape so they could resurface in a later issue, and the struggle of Good vs. Evil continues.
That is not what a customer will find if he makes the mistake of taking in the new movie crudely titled “Kick-Ass.” The concept seems innocent enough – teenage comic-book devotee with absolutely no powers puts on a goofy wetsuit and tries to be a hero. But that's just the first few minutes.
What follows next is an entirely different movie, a gory slasher film, except the vigilante mass murderer is an 11-year-old girl in a costume that included a purple wig and a plaid private-school skirt. This little “Hit Girl” doesn't play by any moral rules, however. In her first mass-murder scene, she even double-spears a prostitute armed with only a broken booze bottle.
HBO is airing a movie, “You Don’t Know Jack,” about the life of Dr. Jack Kevorkian (aka: “Dr. Death”), who enabled the suicides of more than100 terminally-ill people. But the movie is so one-sided that even many mainstream media reviewers couldn’t help but point it out. USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe all noted how the movie favored assisted suicides.
USA Today’s Robert Bianco complained, “But on the crucial social issue itself – a person's right to die and a doctor's obligation to assist – the film falls squarely and unfailingly on Kevorkian's side.”
According to Bianco, “Everyone who stands against him is either an idiot, a bigot, or a politically motivated hack.” He cautioned, “Take that as a dual warning: You don’t get balance, and that one-sided approach can’t quite support the film’s overextended, two-hour-plus length.”
We have now reached the apex of "heads I win, tails you lose" global-warming alarmism. In his April 18 op-ed for the LA Times, author Eli Kintisch warned that "the world is running short on air pollution, and if we continue to cut back on smoke pouring forth from industrial smokestacks," global warming consequences could be "profound."
Having painted themselves into an environmental conundrum, Kintisch and climate scientists are left debating how they are going to proceed with sulfate aerosols - a natural and anthropogenic air pollutant believed to have cooling properties on the earth's atmosphere.
"Thanks to cooling by aerosols starting in the 1940s, however, the planet has only felt a portion of that greenhouse warming. In the 1980s, sulfate pollution dropped as Western nations enhanced pollution controls, and as a result, global warming accelerated," Kintisch wrote.
"There's hot debate over the size of what amounts to a cooling mask, but there's no question that it will diminish as industries continue to clean traditional pollutants from their smokestacks. Unlike CO2, which persists in the atmosphere for centuries, aerosols last for a week at most in the air. So cutting them would probably accelerate global warming rapidly."
The editorial page at Investor's Business Daily noticed what the major media ignored or downplayed, once again: the latest Climategate development. They headlined their Friday editorial "Climategate Gets a Whitewash." The University of East Anglia commissioned two independent inquiries into what became known as the Climate-gate scandal. But just how "independent" was the latest report? IBD wasn't impressed with the five-page report that found no deceitful practices:
The sugarcoated report should be no surprise. The probe was conducted by Lord Oxburgh, an academic who was briefly chairman of Shell. He is now, according to the Financial Post, chair of Falck Renewables, a firm that has wind farms across Europe, and chair of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, "a lobby group which argues that carbon capture could become a $1 trillion industry by 2050."
Imagine that. A man with a financial interest in companies that would benefit from efforts to arrest man-made global warming is asked to look into the possible scientific malpractice of researchers whose conclusions are favorable to his business concerns.
Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times addressed a "welcome letter" to the incoming Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez [at right], in a April 7 column which focused almost entirely in forwarding the mainstream media's talking points on the Church sex abuse scandal, and stereotyped the religious community that the bishop is a member of.
Lopez wasted little time in delving into the scandal. After his greeting and expressing how he was going to miss outgoing archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony, despite how his archdiocese "agreed in 2007 to pay $660 million to 500 victims going back decades" and how "there's still a federal grand jury investigation into the handling of the sex abuse scandal," he immediately expressed his concern over who sent Archbishop Gomez to Los Angeles: "I worry a little that it was Pope Benedict XVI who sent you here, since his handling of molesters has recently been called into question." Who else would have sent him there, Mr. Lopez?
On Sunday's Newsroom, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin disputed the conclusion of the Los Angeles Times on the apparently shocking new political initiative of Clarence Thomas's wife Virginia Thomas, that it "could give rise to conflicts of interest for her husband...as it tests the norms for judicial spouses." Toobin defended Mrs. Thomas' grassroots conservative work.
Anchor Don Lemon brought on the senior legal analyst just before the bottom of the 10 pm Eastern hour to discuss Kathleen Hennessey's article in the Sunday L.A. Times, titled "Justice's wife launches 'tea party' group." The Times writer indicated that Mrs. Thomas' new organization somehow risked the partiality of the Court, as indicated in the article’s subtitle, "The nonprofit run by Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is likely to test notions of political impartiality for the court." She continued later that "the move by Virginia Thomas, 52, into the front lines of politics stands in marked contrast to the rarefied culture of the nation's highest court, which normally prizes the appearance of nonpartisanship and a distance from the fisticuffs of the politics of the day."
A report released Monday says that California's new global warming law will increase unemployment in the Golden State.
The announcement was in stark contrast to continual claims by the Left and their media minions that proposed cap and trade legislation at the federal level will result in an explosion in green jobs.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times Wednesday, the nation's most populated state, which is the first to impose laws concerning carbon dioxide emissions, might see a net reduction in employment as a result:
Keith Olbermann's appeal has generally been his incendiary, attack-dog approach to the news. The approach paid off during the Bush administration when bashing the president was good business for a television host.
Since Obama's inauguration, Olbermann's ratings have been in free-fall, but MSNBC brass are still more than willing not only to keep him on the air, but to defend him against any and all critics.
Asked about Olbermann's plummeting ratings--they have declined 44 percent since last year--MSNBC President Phil Griffin cleverly invoked the cable network's slogan, saying MSNBC is still "the place for politics."
Griffin added, "there are times when politics does great, and there are times when it doesn't." Apparently there are also times when it does great on Fox, but not on MSNBC, like, say, right now. Ratings for the "O'Reilly Factor", Olbermann's 8 p.m. competition, have soared 55 percent during the past year, making it by far the most watched cable news show during that time slot. "Countdown", meanwhile, languishes just behind HLN's Nancy Grace in the coveted 25-54 demographic.
Some in the liberal media continue to insist that James O'Keefe and his three cohorts were trying to "bug" or "tap" Sen. Mary Landrieu's phone lines when law enforcement officials have clearly said that they were not. Since the left doesn't like O'Keefe, the liberal media seems to think standard practices of journalistic integrity don't apply here.
According to MSNBC, one law enforcement official, who was not named, said "the four men arrested for attempting to tamper with the phones in the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) were not trying to intercept or wiretap the calls." This statement comports with the affidavit filed in court after O'Keefe and company were arrested, which did not mention wiretapping or bugging, and only referred to the "tampering" of phone lines (h/t Patterico).
But the Boston Globe parroted this false accusation this morning in a gossip blog post about one of the alleged perpetrators, Joe Basel. The Globe--the same Globe that complained about ACORN's "trial-by-video"--called him a "political dirty trickster who was busted in a Watergate-style bugging operation earlier this week," and said again a couple paragraphs later that Basel was "bagged by the feds allegedly trying to bug the phones" in Landrieu's office. At least the Globe writers said "allegedly" the second time.
The Sheboygan Press, which published Ellie Light's infamous letter on January 17, admitted Tuesday that its opinion editor failed to follow company protocol of confirming Light's identity.
Joe Gulig, the paper's resident watchdog, claimed to have started the process by asking for information, but never followed through to see if the phone number was real. The paper admitted that the fiasco "affects credibility" and apologized to their readers for being sloppy.
The possible culprit according to Tuesday's editorial, "The letter was well-written and made sense" (emphasis added):
As the new year began, The New York Times offered a 780-word article to a protest for illegal immigrants – with four marchers walking from Miami to Washington. But on Saturday, tens of thousands of Americans gathering in Washington for Friday's annual March for Life received – part of a sentence.
In the Saturday paper on January 23, an article on the trial facing the killer of late-term abortionist George Tiller on page A-11 featured this note in paragraph 9 of a 12-paragraph dispatch by Monica Davey:
Testimony began the same day that abortion rights groups celebrated, and abortion opponents protested, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal.
If Ellie Light is indeed a Democratic operative, she is only the proverbial tip of the party's astroturfing iceberg. Patterico's investigative work, which was also at the forefront of the blogosphere's efforts to expose Light, have revealed an even greater effort at manufacturing the appearance of public support for Democratic policies.
Organizing for America and the Democratic Party each have forms on their websites for supporters to write letters to the editors of their local papers. Both have suggested "talking points" next to the submission form. Both advise supporters to use their own words, but talking points from both of the sites have appeared in letters to the editor in a multitude of newspapers nationwide.
If you're totally reliant upon print media, some of the major newspapers that is, you might not have noticed the news about former Democratic Senator and 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards' admission that he was indeed the father of his campaign mistress's daughter.
That story couldn't so much as garner a single front-page story from any of the nation's top five major newspapers - USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times or The Washington Post. And only The Wall Street Journal, found the story worthy to print on its second page, not to mention the fact that it is a business journal.
Edwards admitted in a statement on Jan 21 that he was indeed the father of Frances Quinn Hunter, saying, "It was wrong for me to ever deny she was my daughter." The story of his affair with campaign staffer and videographer Rielle Hunter broke last summer when the National Enquirer busted Edwards in a Los Angeles hotel for cheating on his cancer-stricken wife.
Alec Baldwin, award winning actor and wannabe leftist political commentator, called on Congress to sink congressional health care legislation today, saying he would rather the federal government "Put a Major Oil Company Out of Business," according to the headline of his column at the Huffington Post.
Baldwin isn't the only liberal entertainer calling for the death of ObamaCare. Plans to tax so-called "Cadillac" health care plans--or the most expensive insurance plans--have riled up some key Democratic supporters. The Teamsters Union and the AFL-CIO have protested, but now objections are also being raised by Hollywood's biggest unions.
The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that the "generally cozy relationship between Hollywood's unions and the Obama administration is coming under strain." The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists recently sent a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders pleading with them to drop the Cadillac tax. According to the Times, the Screen Actors Guild, the largest union of actors, is expected to take a similar stance on the legislation.
Yeah, I'm talking to you, James Rainey, of the Los Angeles Times.
It seems that the Times columnist just can't figure out how the MSM missed out on reporting the John Edwards scandal story despite the fact that the L.A. Times was Gound Zero for media refusal to report on this matter even after the National Enquirer broke an important aspect of the story in Rainey's own backyard at the Beverly Hilton. First the entertaining money quote from Rainey in today's column:
After reading "Game Change," a sweeping new account of campaign 2008 by veteran journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, a reader might wonder: How could the schmucks on the bus miss the operatic disintegration of Edwards' once widely admired partnership with his wife, Elizabeth?
The Los Angeles Times has been doing its best to dismiss Senator Harry Reid's racist remark about Preisdent Obama as a minor transgression while portraying Republicans calling for his resignation as political attack dogs. This coverage stands in stark contrast to the paper's coverage of the controversy surrounding former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in 2002 (h/t Patterico).
"GOP opens fire on Harry Reid," read a Los Angeles Times headline yesterday. The article said the Senator was "pummeled" by the GOP, that Republicans had "called for the senator's head," and that Reid was now "in [the GOP's] cross hairs." (The latest version of the story does not include the last quote.)
Contrast this Times story to the paper's own coverage of Trent Lott's remarks in 2002 and Democrats' calls for him to step down as Majority Leader. The Times portrayed the uproar over his remarks not as an attack, but rather as a spontaneous, impalpable furor. The uproar was a "spiraling controversy" or a "growing clamor." "Outrage Grows Over Lott Remarks" read one headline.
Representative Pete Hoekstra recently indicated that the attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 should be a clue that helps the Obama Administration ‘connect the dots' on terrorism.
While that remains unlikely with an administration more obsessed with right-wing extremists, man-caused disasters, and the impeccable success of our counterterrorism systems, perhaps it's time to start holding the main stream media accountable for their own inability to connect certain dots.
Such is the case of the media's handling of Anwar al-Awlaki...
From the New York Times to the Colbert Report, liberal media commentators have had a field day bashing Glenn Beck for his purported conflict of interest in encouraging his viewers to invest in gold without disclosing that he has endorsed gold distributors.
Yet few of these pundits have even mentioned Al Gore's monumental conflict of interest--which could have far greater consequences for Americans than Beck's gold promotions--in touting global warming hysteria while establishing his own green technology empire.
NewsBusters has consistently argued that Gore plays up the dangers of global warming to line his own pockets. His investments in green energy firms could pay enormous dividends if the United States adopts the draconian cuts to carbon emissions he has advocated--and Congress included in the environmental tax known as cap and trade passed by the House last summer.