At one time, newspapers were America’s source for news and current events. Today it’s a completely different story. While President Obama has declared a push to ban or limit types of guns, the nation’s major newspapers are nearly unanimous in their support of gun control. The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and other most-popular papers led the list.
The consistent theme of almost every gun editorial from Dec. 15, 2012 to Jan. 11, 2013, was that stricter gun laws were needed, and semi-automatic rifles should be completely banned from civilian use. Some newspapers were even more aggressive.
I heard Rush Limbaugh comment on this report from the Associated Press's Thomas Beaumont and Brian Bakst ("Romney, GOP suddenly plunging onto Democratic turf") this afternoon on his program. This evening, having read the whole, I agree with him (which of course often happens) that the AP writer are very upset that GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney and his campaign are going after Pennsylvania and Minnesota -- so upset that they're throwing any kind of speculative nonsense they can conjure up to explain away its obvious significance, namely that Team Romney believes they can pick up even more electoral than they believe they have within their control by venturing into these two states -- oh, and Michigan too.
How upset are they? One theory the AP pair has: "Or perhaps the Republican simply has money to burn. Use it now or never." Lord have mercy, guys. The question with the answer you don't like is: Why is he "burning" it in those two states? Gee, because he apparently thinks he can win them. Several paragraphs from Beaumont's and Bakst's blubbering, which will only admit to the apparently unlikely (in their view) possibility the Romney "could" win the race for the White House, follow the jump (bolds are mine):
At National Review (here and here), Stanley Kurtz has proven beyond doubt that Barack Obama sought the far-left New Party's endorsement in 1996. In the process, he has rendered a central claim made by the Obama campaign at its "Fight the Smears" web site in 2008 ("Barack Did Not Seek New Party Endorsement") and swallowed whole by the gullible establishment press utterly false.
In 2008, Ben Smith, who was then at Politico, also swallowed the line from the New Party's founder that the party never really had "members," which is going to be the focus of this post:
Forget those polls. In the mainstream media, there's always good news for President Barack Obama. So it is on the Minneapolis StarTribune's Web site. An Associated Press article appears under the headline "Voters weathering economic downturn sticking with Obama — because they like him" and includes this heartening news:
People who have lost their jobs or homes during Obama's presidency nonetheless say they want him to succeed and, what's more, they're working to help re-elect him because of the affinity they feel for him.
And how did the AP arrive at this conclusion in its 31-paragraph story? They talked to people, that's how. Specifically, the article includes quotes from two, count'em, two women who have lost their jobs, one woman who has lost her house, and one woman who has a law degree but "cobbles together work as a caterer, cake decorator and office manager." The AP supplemented its exhaustive research by talking to a few Democratic operatives, to assure an objective and complete analysis no doubt.
Last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the State of Minnesota, where the government is shut down but spokesman for the Department of Public Safety Doug Neville is somehow still working, is demanding that MillerCoors pull its products from Gopher State store shelves within days, and identified a number of questions non-inquisitive Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Eric Roper should have asked and didn't.
One of the questions which didn't make my list, which wasn't intended to be comprehensive, is: "How much money is involved?" As seen in the headline, the answer is so trivial that it almost costs more to think about it than to say what it is. The potential embarrassment over this matter may partially explain why Democratic Farm Labor Governor Mark Dayton appears to have sued for peace this morning (covered later in this post). Readers will also have a hard time believing the penny-ante amount over which retailers whose "buyer's cards" have expired will from all appearances be prevented from buying alcoholic beverages for resale.
Well, I guess it's getting serious now in the melodrama known as the Minnesota state government shutdown.
If the Gopher State shutdown goes on much longer, hundreds of bars and restaurants will lose their ability to serve alcohol because they can't renew their liquor licenses. Worse, as reported by Eric Roper at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, MillerCoors, whose "brand license" somehow expired, will, be forced to "pull its beer from Minnesota liquor stores, bars and restaurants." The economic ripple effect will have a lot of Minnesotans crying in their beer, if they can find any.
If there's a less curious reporter than Eric Roper, I don't want to meet him. I've seen pet rocks with more curiosity than the Strib reporter demonstrated in the linked report. Consider the following paragraphs which Roper relayed without any hint of an attempt at follow-up:
Amid the media's vilification of Rep. Peter King, their continuing coverage of Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison's "tearful struggle" stands in stark contrast.
"Amid the raw feelings of Thursday's House hearings on domestic Islamic radicalization, Rep. Keith Ellison could not fight back the tears" as he recounted a story about Mohammed Salman Hamdani. Rep. Ellison "choked up and spoke haltingly of how some tried to 'smear' Hamdani because of his faith," declared the Minneapolis Star Tribune on March 10. The manner in which Hamdani was defamed, and the identities of the guilty, has remained ambiguous to date.
Echoing Rep. Ellison's Twitter post "America is big enuf for all of us," USA Today declared "Rep. Keith Ellison" has made it clear "America is big enough for us all." Cursorily noting that "Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y. vowed not to bow to 'political correctness,'" it went on to give an in-depth reaction provided by a talk show host based out of Minnesota: "As I was wiping my tears," she said, "I was thinking what is it about my faith that is not being accepted as an American? My faith? My scarf? My ethnicity?"
Absent from all of the media's coverage of Rep. Ellison's weeping is the Title 1 of Section 102 in the Patriot Act passed by Congress after 9/11:
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?
The 2010 NFL draft showed that it's not enough to be a star football player anymore. Character counts now too.
Tim Tebow, and the Denver Bronco's drafting him as first-round pick, was the big story out of the NFL draft. Despite a phenomenal college career in which he won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore, led the Florida Gators to two national championships, and lived out his Christian beliefs, many expressed doubts over Tebow's ability to compete on the professional level.
For publicly stating his Christian beliefs, Tebow has been called a "religious fundamentalist, lightning-rod misfit," told he "has a long way to mature from a business perspective," and his family and friends were compared to "Nazis."
"Quite honestly, I don't even know anything about MSNBC," Bachmann said. "It's not a network that I watch and most of the American people agree with that assessment. They aren't watching it either. And that's why Fox's ratings - I mean it's like CNN, CNBC, MSNBC combined. I think Fox even exceeded one of the major networks last week. They're on the ascendency."
Remember when the children of public figures were off-limits in the day-to-day hand-to-hand combat of political warfare?
It's a rule that didn't just applied to the underage children of politicians, but the adult children. Witness the 2008 suspension of MSNBC's David Shuster for suggesting then-presidential contender Hillary Clinton's 28-year-old daughter Chelsea Clinton was being "pimped out" by the campaign.
But maybe that rule only applied to Democrats. When it comes to liberal pundits attempting to score cheap points against conservatives, especially ones they loathe like Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, all bets are off. In an Aug. 12 column, Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Jon Tevlin, citing a hateful anti-Bachmann blog, decided it appropriate to beat up the two-term congresswoman using her son Harrison's decision to participate in the government program Teach for America (TFA). TFA is one of the programs under the AmeriCorps umbrella.
Many have claimed the federal government was playing fast and loose with the rules surrounding its takeover of General Motors and the circumstances surrounding the selection of which dealerships would remain open and those that wouldn't. Fox News' Gretchen Carlson came forward with evidence of this through a personal account of dealership closings.
"I'd like to get a hold of the car czar too," Carlson said. "Never did I think personally that I would need to get a hold of him, but now I do because my parents have owned a General Motors dealership in Anoka, Minn., for 90 years and they were terminated last week and they would like to know why. They would like to know why from the car czar."
The Minneapolis Star Tribune is often called the "Red Star" Tribune by residents of Minneapolis for its long-time, virulently left-wing outlook. Many has been the time when the editorial board of the Star Trib has carried water for political candidates shilling for big labor.
The STrib endorsed Obama for president for his supposed fiscal responsibility as well as his focus on the working classes. It is well known that big labor was solidly behind Obama and have been getting payoffs every week since the January inaugural.
But that was then. Now-a-days the STrib is not so keen on unions. In fact, it is so put off by unions that it is going to court to have its contract with its printers union annulled and asks for new terms to be imposed by the courts to save the paper from going bankrupt. Apparently, unions are fine for politicians as far as the STrib is concerned, but when it is faced with real life union demands, well, the courts are asked to save them from union excess.
Many in the Minneapolis area call the paper the RedStarTribune for its often overbearing leftist point of view, but whatever the case of its editorial direction the paper itself is headed for court to file for bankruptcy. And this is another one of the nation's largest papers looking to go belly up.
The StarTrib (or Strib as its also called) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday.
Al Franken has discovered a new use for YouTube: uploading a video to that site in order to emotionally influence the Minnesota Canvassing Board to count the disputed absentee ballots in that state. Here is how Yid With Lid describes the Franken video:
Looking to put more pressure on the canvassing board who will determine the fate of the absentee ballots, Minnesota Senate Candidate Al Franken has created a sappy "tug at the heart strings" youtube video to try to convince them to allow in the rejected ballots that favor the Comic. The video plays like a bad episode of Queen for a day. It is simply an attempt to discredit the local election officials through cheap Soap Opera theatrics.
It reads like the lyrics of the song in West Side Story where the "Jets" gang members sing to Officer Krupke claiming they are just misunderstood kids, not punks and criminals. The Minneapolis Star Tribune takes this approach to the story of young male Somali refugees that have taken residence in Minneapolis who have decided to go back to Somalia to "visit." The suspicion is, though, that are they going back to join terrorist gangs there. The Star Trib claims they absolutely are not in its coverage, however. Yet, for some unexplained reason, the Star Trib also leaves out the fact that Somali recruiters have been seen roaming the streets of Minneapolis encouraging Somali men to return for just that purpose, as well as other important details linking the “visits” with terrorism.
Why would the Star Trib leave out such important facts in the story?
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported today that former Republican Governor Arne Carlson (Minn.) has endorsed Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's presidential bid. Carlson heralded himself as a "Republican maverick" and hailed Obama as a potentially "truly great president." Tribune staffer Mike Kaszuba failed to label Carlson's ideology, but suggested in the second paragraph of his October 23 article that Carlson saw himself in the lineage of "the moderate philosophies of past Republican leaders such as Ohio Sen. Robert Taft and President Dwight Eisenhower."
Left unmentioned by the Tribune's Mike Kaszuba was that Carlson -- who was governor from 1991 to 1999 -- had a left-of-center record, particularly early in his tenure when he hiked taxes and pushed government-run health care.
The NBC/MSNBC family of networks has been getting maximum mileage out of Chris Matthews's interview of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) last week. Matthews himself has been recycling clips ever since. This morning, David Gregory narrated a Today show segment about the interview and its aftermath. The only journalist whose views Gregory aired were those of Nick Coleman, columnist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
NICK COLEMAN: I think Michele Bachmann unfortunately is one of those politicians who doesn't understand the boundaries of common sense and sometimes common decency.
Katherine Kersten, that rare bird – a conservative columnist at the uber-blue Minneapolis Star Tribune – reported that while Minnesota Democrats endorsed that Harvard-smart Senate candidate Al Franken after he expressed regret for all the comic mileage he’s gotten out of rape and his "penchant for the pornographic," he did not apologize for his most offensive material aimed at religious believers, and Christians in particular. The press hasn’t noticed:
Why hasn't this been aired in public? We in the press are too busy searching through Sarah Palin's junior high yearbooks and tracking down the filing dates of Joe the Plumber's tax returns.
Meanwhile, Franken gets a pass for making a joke of the life and death of Jesus Christ.
Republicans may have largely suspended their convention on Monday, but the radical-left protesters outside the convention didn’t feel the need to be sensitive and postpone their march. They did, however, threaten to get lost. (Let’s hope they weren’t carrying signs about Bush-Cheney incompetence.) Who came to the rescue? A reporter from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, as the paper itself lightly noted as a moment for "public service journalism." Police weren’t worried about the main group, but worried about a small faction wearing black masks.
The larger group of protesters was peaceful, although they were challenged -- as so many have been over the years -- by the downtown St. Paul street grid. As the head of the march reached Cedar and 10th, marchers were supposed to turn right. Apparently confused rather than intent on civil disobedience, they slowly started through the intersection. That's when a Star Tribune reporter, Randy Furst, approached organizers and asked if they knew they were headed in the wrong direction. Randy saved the day, the march turned right onto 10th and the police relaxed. Once again, public service journalism worked its magic.
Republicans are horrible tippers and have even worse pick-up lines. You may expect to see that slant from a story making the rounds based on a industry-sponsored survey of Washington, D.C., bartenders.
An Associated Press article printed in the Denver Post covers a recent concern of increased prostitution at political conventions from predominantly one angle - the Republican angle.
The travesty of media justice starts with the screaming headline:
Groups Predict Prostitution Spike at RNC
Odd that the Denver Post would print such an article, without noting that the source of the information also has concern about the Democratic National Convention. Or rather, not odd at all considering the DNC is being hosted in Denver. I suppose it wouldn't benefit the Post to run an article indicating that prostitution might be a problem in their home city.
However, nestled in the article, six paragraphs in, is an admission that the groups are indeed also concerned about prostitution in Denver as well. (Emphasis mine throughout).
Bureaucratic bungling by the state of Minnesota had a heavy hand in the fatal Minnesota bridge collapse last summer, according to a new report commissioned by that state's legislature. The Associated Press has the story, but it's not as exciting as the initial "blame Bush" meme the media found so convenient as the tragedy unfolded. (emphasis mine):
ST. PAUL - A new report on the Minneapolis bridge collapse said money worries may have led to bad maintenance decisions ahead of the catastrophe that killed 13 people last August.
The report, commissioned by the Legislature, also criticized the Minnesota Department of Transportation for bridge inspections that were mishandled or not acted upon over the years, even when they called for immediate repairs.
Twin Cities news consumers aren't well served, and it may get worse.
Avista Capital Partners, which owns the Minneapolis Star Tribune, said earlier this month that its investment in the Strib is performing so poorly that it had to be written down by 75%. Earlier, the New York Post reported the possibility that the paper might go bankrupt. That possibility will loom as long as the Strib, which many locals refer to as "Red Star Tribune," largely serves as the apparent PR outlet of the Democratic Farm Labor Party (the Gopher State's Democrats).
If a Strib bankruptcy were to occur, and it ceases publication, the St. Paul Pioneer Press is less than ready to step into the breach, at least if Tom Webb's article Thursday about recent food price inflation is any indication.
What's up at the supermarket? Prices for almost everything
Food inflation hit an 18-year high in April, with grocery prices rising 1.5 percent for the month, the government said Wednesday. Prices rose in every aisle - dairy, breads, meats, beverages, fruits and vegetables. It means $53 more a month to feed a family of four with a typical food budget.
Old Media business reporters have a definitionally-incorrect habit of labeling single industries or economic sectors as being "in recession," when the term, as defined here, can only describe national economies or the world economy. Two examples of this are New York Times reporter David Leonhardt's description of manufacturing as being in recession in February 2007 (laughably incorrect, in any event), and the Times's employment of the term "housing recession" 25 times since October 2006, as seen in this Times search (with the phrase in quotes).
But if I wanted to be consistent with this routine form of journalistic malpractice, I would characterize the newspaper business -- at least in terms of the top 25 in the industry's food chain -- not as being in recession, but instead as going through a deep, dark, painful, protracted depression.
This is really taking their quest to find stories that makes victims out of members of the U.S. military to the farthest degree! The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is apparently now resorting to advertising to dredge up women in the military "whose marriage is ending" for a story they want to write. There is really only one reason they'd want such examples and that is so that they can show that the military is hard on women so as to show the military in a bad light.
Catch this Jerry Springer-like form of modern "journalism":
Reader inquiry: Are you a woman in the military whose marriage has ended?
Are you a woman in the military whose marriage has ended?
While the news media concentrates almost all of its attention on the presidential races, one Senate challenger has gotten serious coverage – the silly one. Radio Equalizer, one of the Internet’s funniest Franken-bashing blogs, passes along the latest news of left-wing comedian/Senate aspirant Al Franken failing to live up to the basic government requirements of a businessman. From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
DFL Senate candidate Al Franken owes a $25,000 penalty to the New York State Workers' Compensation Board for failing to carry workers' compensation insurance for employees of his namesake corporation from 2002 to 2005, state officials said.
New York officials have made numerous attempts to contact Franken about the matter since April 2005 but have gotten no reply.
Here is the sort of ridiculousness that makes people distrust the media. The Minneapolis Star Tribune published a story that breathlessly proclaims that "More people say there should be less of a Christian emphasis placed on the holidays" making it appear that a Christian Christmas is falling into disfavor with the American people. Wow, how dire for Christianity! Yet when you look closer at the story, it turns out that only 27% of those responding to a poll are saying such a thing. It happens that 64% say there should be more focus on the birth of Jesus during Christmas. So, with such an overwhelming percentage in favor of the religious content of Christmas why is the headline focused on the anti-Christian sentiment? As a result of that negative focus, should someone simply read the headline, a false impression that contradicts the facts is quickly fostered.
It is understandable, but not forgivable, that business reporters at Old Media newspapers might think that the economy is in bad shape. They first have to get past how poorly most of their employers are doing. The industry as a whole has not been doing well, and it's been that way for quite some time.
This table illustrates that point (September 30, 2007 figures are at this post, which originally came from this Editor & Publisher article, which will soon disappear behind its firewall; March 31, 2005 figures were estimated in reverse using annual percentage changes reported as of March 31, 2006, because older data I thought would remain available no longer is):
Back in the days of our MediaWatch newsletter, we used to have a feature called "Revolving Door" to note reporters swapping their jobs for political appointments or political appointees swapping their jobs for reporting gigs. (See the NB Revolving Door topic for more recent updates.) The Minneapolis Star Tribune announced that its editorial writer Dave Hage is leaving "to become communications director for first-term Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. Hage, 52, will take over Klobuchar's fledgling press operation," which has already lost its top press aide. Hage, a Minneapolis native, was an economics correspondent for for U.S. News & World Report magazine in Washington from 1991 to 1995, where he drew our attention as he repeatedly attacked Reaganomics and boosted Clintonomics. So the new Democrat job isn’t a shocker.
From our Notable Quotables in March 1993, the myth that health socialism-pushing Clinton would have a "healthy respect" for free enterprise: