On the top right of Friday’s front page of The New York Times is a story headlined "Immigration Bill Provisions Gain Wide Support In Poll: Majority Favors Path to Legal Status for Illegal Aliens." Reporters Julia Preston and Marjorie Connelly wrote the story in a way that framed the poll like a memo to Congress, saying "Please pass the bill, the polling water’s warm."
The reporters claim the American public is "taking a pragmatic stand on a divisive issue," which could be interpreted to mean they change their answers based on how the poll question is phrased. It's so divisive individual voters have two different opinions depending on the pollster's lingo. But Preston and Connelly began by insisting: "As opponents from the right and left challenge an immigration bill before Congress, there is broad support among Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike – for the major provisions in the legislation."
“Critics say it is harmful to schoolchildren,” co-host Robin Roberts teased at the top of Friday's Good Morning America. “Mainstream scientists worry that because this museum is so sophisticated it will be more effective at giving children a distorted view of science,” ABC reporter Dan Harris argued.
Back in 1999, a New York City art museum showcased an exhibit featuring a portrait of the Virgin Mary surrounded by elephant dung and cutouts from pornographic magazines. But then the media only saw a threat to free speech if the artist or museum were deprived of public funds. The New York Times then argued: “One man’s blasphemy is another man’s faith."
In fact, from what I can tell by looking at LexisNexis, Google News, and closed-captioning dumps, the only media outlet in the nation that covered this story was Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes.”
This is despite the fact that the Drudge Report broke the story at 10:27AM eastern time Thursday.
What’s potentially even more shocking is that all three network evening news broadcasts began with reports out of Iraq. For instance, here’s how CBS’ Katie Couric began Thursday’s “Evening News” (from closed-captioning):
The Washington Post reports on the top of the front page Friday that it's been given copies of the new Hillary biographies by former Post star Carl Bernstein and New York Times reporters Jeff Gerth and Don van Natta. Since they're media-elite fixtures and not "ideological enemies," they "could be harder to dismiss," the Post says. Reporters Peter Baker and John Solomon explained: "The Hillary Clinton who emerges from the pages of the books comes across as a complicated, sometimes compromised figure who tolerated Bill Clinton's brazen infidelity, pursued her policy and political goals with methodical drive, and occasionally skirted along the edge of the truth along the way." Talk about your weasel words!
While the Clintonista spokesmen emerge with the usual lines (It's old news, "cash for rehash"), the most interesting part of the Post summary is how the books underline how preposterous it was for Hillary to describe herself in her 2003 memoir as "gasping for breath" at the idea of Clinton's adulterous liaisons with the intern Monica Lewinsky. Instead of the clueless ingenue of her fictional memoir, Hillary plotted to destroy Bill's bimbos, even interviewing them herself:
On May 15, NewsBusters noted that the press were missing the seemingly obvious connection between higher gasoline prices and the federally mandated use of ethanol.
In doing so, they were also mysteriously passing on a fine opportunity to bash the Bush administration, something that obviously defied logic and precedent.
Well, it appears nine days later the folks at the New York Times recognized this oversight, and published a front-page business section article entitled “Oil Industry Says Biofuel Push May Hurt at Pump” (emphasis added throughout):
Why should a country go to the effort of spying on America when all they have to do is follow the US media? USA Today reported a database of phone calls and the New York Times publically exposed the SWIFT banking transaction database; both were used to combat terrorism. Now on the May 22 edition of ABC News’ the Blotter, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito revealed another national security-related secret (my emphasis throughout):
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
New York Times reporter Kareem Fahim reported on an open house conducted by a New Jersey mosque connected to the Fort Dix Six terrorism investigation in Saturday's Metro section ("Open House At Mosque Of Suspects Proves Tense"). His slant was apparent throughout the story, as the Times once again soft-pedaled the radical Islamic origins behind the terror plot.
"The man sat in the back row of the mosque, his arms folded, unsure whether his hard opinions would change.
"'I'm concerned about the Muslims,' the man, Richard Smekal, 68, said just before an open house at the mosque, the Islamic Center of South Jersey, where four of six men accused of plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix had worshiped.
It has been over three weeks since the fundamental claim of the "Food Stamp Challenge" was debunked, first by Mona Charen in her syndicated column, then in more detail by yours truly (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog). Yet the "Food Stamp Challenge" has spread.
As noted in this NPR report from April 23, it all started in Oregon. That state's governor, Ted Kulongoski, joined in and put on quite a show, getting plenty of Old Media attention (Associated Press; New York Times [may require free registration]) as he tried to buy a week's worth of groceries with $21, because that was said to be what "the state’s average food stamp recipient spends weekly on groceries."
The Challenge's claim that the average Food Stamp recipient's benefit of $21 per person per week is all that beneficiaries have available for purchasing food is incorrect, as anyone visiting the USDA's web site could have learned very easily.
As I noted in late April, the Food Stamp Program’s "Fact Sheet on Resources, Income and Benefits" provides a table of "Maximum Monthly Allotments" (i.e., benefits), and says the following about benefit levels (bold is mine; I converted the Monthly Allotments to weekly allotments per person by dividing by the average number of weeks in a month [4.345], and then by the number of people):
If the six men charged with planning to attack Fort Dix a few weeks ago all had ties to mosques in southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, would this be newsworthy?
Well, America’s press outlets didn’t seem to think so, for with little exception, this bit of information went largely unreported.
In fact, according to Google news and LexisNexis searches, the only major outlet to report both mosques involved was the New York Times on May 14, albeit page one of Section B (h/t WOR’s Steve Malzberg, emphasis added):
In a failed attempt by the New York Times to provide some balance to its shoddy pro-prosecution coverage of the Duke lacrosse "rape" hoax, Sunday's Sports section featured sports reporter Pete Thamel's profile of the reinvigorated 2007 Duke lacrosse team, which that morning was on the verge of making it to lacrosse's "Final Four" (Duke advanced, winning the day's match against instate rival North Carolina).
Yet in "This Time, Spotlight Is Kinder to Duke," Thamel managed to locate ubiquitous popular culture commenter Robert Thompson to make the defensive suggestion that while the Duke players may have been innocent of rape, they may have been guilty of…being college students:
The New York Times explored Hillary Clinton’s service on the Wal-Mart Board of Directors in the Sunday newspaper. Reporter Michael Barbaro employed a typical focus on inoculating liberals against conservative attack: "Her years on the Wal-Mart board, from 1986 to 1992, gave her an unusual tutorial in the ways of American business — a credential that could serve as an antidote to Republican efforts to portray her as an enemy of free markets and an advocate for big government."
Citing a board of directors credential is hardly proof you’re not an advocate of big government. Just think of all the major corporations – including NBC-owning General Electric – that eagerly allied themselves with the Clinton tax and health plans in 1993. Major corporations and big government are often the coziest of allies. Barbaro sinks into the usual template about how this shows how Hillary the Trailblazing Idealist is an odd match for Hillary the Get-Along-to-Go-Along Pragmatist:
I really shouldn’t have eaten breakfast before reading a preview of the New York Times Magazine’s upcoming piece “Al Gore Has Big Plans” (h/t Dan Gainor).
After all, it’s one thing when sycophants like Sheryl Crow, Laurie David, and Leonardo DiCaprio gush over the former vice president in a manner akin to teenyboppers within earshot of Sean or David Cassidy.
But when such fawning superlatives like “prophetic status” and “intellectual mastery” are employed by a big-time journalist such as James Traub to describe a politician, uncoordinated peristalsis in one’s bowels could cause an embarrassing event without warning.
As such, the reader is cautioned to peruse the following quotes from this disgraceful article with as empty a stomach as humanly possible (emphasis added throughout):
The Formerly Mainstream Media is favorably transfixed on the proposed immigration "reforms" being whipped through Congress -- legislation that opponents characterize as "amnesty."
"Somehow," they have managed to virtually ignore immigration-related legislation that has actually become law in Oklahoma.
Perhaps it's because Oklahoma's reforms have nothing to do with "amnesty," and everything to do with enforcement.
Specifically, from a May 8 Associated Press story on the bill's passage:
Governor Henry today signed a sweeping immigration reform bill that was passed overwhelmingly by the Oklahoma Legislature, but described it as a stopgap measure until the federal government takes action on the issue.
Among other things, the bill contains employment, labor law and civil rights provisions to protect citizens and legal immigrants who lose their jobs at companies that employ illegal immigrants to perform the same or similar work.
Beginning in November, public agencies will be required to use a program that screens Social Security numbers to make sure they are real and that they match up with a job applicant's name.
A One News Now story provided more detail. It also makes it clear that the sponsor of the legislation believes that the states have more power to enforce immigration law than the "it's the Feds' problem" types would like us to believe (bold is mine):
Bob Knight, Director of the Culture and Media Institute offers these thoughts on the media's treatment of the death of Rev. Jerry Falwell.
In many of his talks to Liberty University students, the Rev. Jerry Falwell emphasized the importance of “finishing well.”
On Tuesday, May 15, he was at the top of his game when he unexpectedly died in the college office where he was planning more expansions of the fast-growing university that he founded in 1971.
The Rev. Falwell did a lot of things well, ticking off liberals right up to the end. How else would he have garnered the kind of tribute from a major newspaper’s religion writer that was headlined, “Sigh of relief over Falwell death.”
To make sure no one mistook her, Chicago Sun-Times Religion Writer Cathleen Falsani’s May 18 column explains her reaction to the news about Dr. Falwell on May 15.
Liberals are engaged in an amazing display of myth-building and revisionism concerning the establishment media’s performance before the war, and it’s not just Bill Moyers. As NewsBuster Tim Graham noted yesterday, the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz revealed on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday that “everybody at every news organization I’ve talked to said that the media were not aggressive enough during the run-up to war.”
Appearing on the same program, ex-CNNer Bill Press went even further, alleging that the press “gave us this war.” He told Kurtz, “the media, in large part, gave us this war, because they went along and repeated everything that George Bush said without asking tough questions....If they had asked the questions and more — and American people knew what the truth was, as opposed to the propaganda we were getting from the White House, I think there would not have been the support for the war.”
"It is unclear what role, if any, religion played in the attack Mr. Shnewer and the five other men are charged with planning. (The sixth suspect, Agron Abdullahu, had no apparent connection with Al-Aqsa or the South Jersey Islamic Center.) The authorities have described the suspects as Islamic extremists, but the lengthy criminal complaint summarizing the F.B.I.'s 15-month undercover investigation of the group does not mention where -- or how often -- they prayed. Certainly there is no evidence that they picked up radical ideas at either mosque."
Perhaps you read this week that in April, the US Treasury reported all-time-record tax collections of $383.6 billion.
If you did, you didn't read it in the dead-trees version of the New York Times. The Old Grey Lady did not deem Thursday afternoon's news "fit to print" on Friday (requires free registration), even choosing not to carry the related Associated Press report that is the main topic of this post (even though the Time posted it online Thursday evening). A Times search on "April treasury" (not in quotes) shows no evidence of any other coverage since then, nor does Sunday's Business home page.
So, unless you happened to read a brief report from MarketWatch (requires registration) or subscribe to the Wall Street Journal (requires subscription), odds are that anything you read or heard about April's Monthly Treasury Statement came from the aforementioned AP report, written by good old Martin Crutsinger (some previous examples of Crutsinger's demonstrated bias and ignorance are here, here, here, and here).
Crutsinger's full report is here. Before I get to his biggest oversight, here are the report's relatively minor (I'm not kidding) shortcomings:
On his must-read "Best of the Web Today" column for Opinion Journal, the online home of the excellent Wall Street Journal editorial page, James Taranto did a nice analysis on Associated Press reporter Mark Sherman:
During a debate on atheism in New York City with Christopher Hitchens on Monday, the reliably inflammatory Al Sharpton said: "As for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don't worry about that.'"
"Sharpton Accused of Bigoted Remark" would be the equivalent of "Dog Bites Man" for a true "paper of record," but the Times rarely notices.
In atypical fashion, Luo devoted most of his space not to Romney's accusation or to calls for apologies from offended Mormons, but to Al Sharpton's (make that "civil rights activist" Sharpton, as Luo called him in a post on the Times' political blog) defense and rebuttal.
It had to happen sooner or later. A natural disaster was destined to hit a town in another state led by a Democrat governor who was willing to feed the waiting media activists with a swipe against President Bush and the War in Iraq. Such a tragedy happened over the weekend when a category five tornado hit Greensburg, Kansas and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius immediately blamed the war in Iraq for a lack of response by depleted National Guard units. The situation was so politically opportunistic that even Presidential candidate Barack Obama stated while on a campaign stop that 10,000 residents had been killed in the devastation.
Despite its huffy, self-righteous editorial page, the New York Times never has been anywhere close to a paragon of moral consistency. The latest example of the Grey Lady's hypocrisy is on the subject of data-mining, a subject which the editorial side of the paper repeatedly condemned last year. Data-mining is basically a fancy way of compiling user data in an advanced manner. According to the Times, data-mining is wrong when it is done to help fight terrorism. When it's done to fatten the wallets of fatcat liberal newspaper execs then it's ok.
Barely a year after their reporters won a Pulitzer prize for exposing
data mining of ordinary citizens by a government spy agency, New York
Times officials had some exciting news for stockholders last week: The
Times company plans to do its own data mining of ordinary citizens, in
the name of online profits.
While covering media mogul Rupert Murdoch's offer to buy The Wall Street Journal from, New York Times reporter Richard Perez-Pena uncovered a news organization with a political slant: Fox News Channel.
"Two members of the Ottaway family, a minority partner in Dow Jones & Company, released scathing statements yesterday saying that a takeover by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation would ruin Dow Jones and its crown jewel, The Wall Street Journal.
"The controlling Bancroft family said last week that family members representing 52 percent of shareholder votes opposed Mr. Murdoch’s $60-a-share bid, a steep premium for a stock that had recently traded around $36. But their statement was vague, leaving it unclear whether family members objected to the price, to Mr. Murdoch or to a sale on any terms.
Three of the six Fort Dix terror suspects are in the United States illegally, so I thought I'd look at how three major metropolitan newspapers reported that fact in today's papers.
Looking through coverage in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, I found that the first two put mention of the illegal immigration status of the Duka brothers one-quarter of the way through their respective articles, while the Post buried the mention more than halfway through the article, paragraph 14 out of 26 to be exact.
Here's how each paper reported the illegal status of three of the suspects:
A new study by my alma mater, the University of Maryland, looked at the online divisions of 19 major traditional print and broadcast media:
... to see
which ones gave the users of their RSS feeds the same number of
stories, the same range of news sources, in as timely a fashion as
could be gotten if those users went to the individual website.
The Los Angeles Times, ABCNews.com, and Foxnews.com fared among the best RSS providers while the New York Times was among the worst. But the bottom line, the study concluded, was that:
... if a user wants
specific news on any subject from any of the 19 news outlets the
research team looked at, he or she must still track the news down
website by website.
The main reason? The paucity of information RSS feeds give the reader:
The New York Times is still adjusting badly to conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy's big win in the French presidential election over Socialist candidate Segolene Royal, judging by reporter Craig Smith's report from Paris on the thuggish violence that occurred after Sarkozy's big win ("Hundreds Are Arrested in Post-Election Riots Across France").
Instead of blaming the rioters, Smith implied that furthur violence could be blamed on Sarkozy keeping his campaign promises.
"Violent protests against the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France ended early Monday after hundreds of people were arrested, hundreds of cars gutted, and hundreds of windows smashed in several cities across France.
First Time magazine drops the President from the '100 Most Influential' list, and now this: The big front-page photo in Tuesday's New York Times was of Queen Elizabeth (who did make Time's list of important movers and shakers) with President Bush walking past a row of photographers at the White House after her official welcome. But the photo cropped off the top third of Bush's head, and the caption whimsically referred to him only as the Queen's "American escort," as if he was a security guard or State Department flunkie.
Under the headline "Focus Group" (a play on all the cameras present), the Times summarized: "Before an A-list, white-tie dinner, the masses had a chance to see Queen Elizabeth II, with an American escort, at the White House. Page A19."
Washington Post writers Tamara Jones and Roxanne Roberts (who co-writes the paper's "Reliable Source" gossip column) took just four paragraphs into their page A1 story on Queen Elizabeth's state visit to snark about a gaffe of President Bush's during the welcome ceremony.
The President was noting that the Queen had visited the United States for the bicentennial in 1976, but he started to say 1776 before catching himself.
Noting that the Queen "did not appear amused," Jones and Roberts described Bush's reaction as "sheepish" and that the Queen's disapproving glare was not his only "comeuppance of the day."
Paris-based New York Times reporter Elaine Sciolino continued to nurse her long-standing grudge against Nicolas Sarkozy, the tough-on-crime presidential candidate of France, in two stories, one before and one after Sarkozy routed Socialist candidate Segolene Royal to win the presidency.
"He has gambled -- apparently successfully -- during the campaign that by turning hard right he would win over supporters of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the head of the extreme right National Front who made it into the second round of the 2002 election but made it into only fourth place this time.
The weak female support is a bitter personal blow for Royal, who had
played up her feminist credentials throughout the campaign, frequently
defending policies she would want "as a mother" and accusing critics of
Yet Gehmlich noted that the Sarkozy-Royal split among women voters in general was 52-48, according to an Ipsos exit poll. That closely tracks the 53-47 split among voters generally and is not far afield from 54 percent of men who voted for Sarkozy.
Indeed, younger female voters were about evenly split while elderly female voters broke heavily against the Socialist Royal, suggesting that generation, not gender, may have been a stronger determinant in the election outcome.
Royal's support among older voters was particularly poor, with 64
percent of women above the age of 60 supporting Sarkozy, and only 36
percent voting for Royal, according to the Ipsos survey. Women under 35
were split between her and Sarkozy.
Those numbers come from an Ipsos exit poll. Meg Bortin of the New York Times gave more data in her May 7 article that points to age differences in voting for the candidates. (Emphasis mine):