psychosis: 'A severe mental illness in which the person has lost contact with reality."
OK, I'm not kidding: judging from tonight's episode of Hardball, either the MSM is psychotic, or I am. You be the armchair psychiatrist.
Chris Matthews' guest was NY Times media reporter Bill Carter. Matthews, discussing W's low poll numbers, observed:
"Bush is down there, Lou Harris, a liberal pollster, let's get straight on that, has got him down at 29. Is it too easy now to bash him? Even the money guys now in our business are saying, 'hit him again'. Is it too easy now to bash him?"
Carter: "You have to say, the media didn't go after him for a long time."
Seismic! Shocking! Startling! A bombshell!! That’s how the ABC, CBS and NBC morning shows described a front-page story in today’s (Thursday’s) USA Today that breathlessly touted how “NSA has massive database of Americans’ phone calls.” Like the TV coverage, USA Today’s story insinuated that the existence of the database was a major violation of Americans’ privacy rights and evidence that the President was lying last December when he described the NSA’s eavesdropping on suspected terrorist communications as limited and targeted.
Today’s article does not allege that any calls are listened in on. Indeed, as USA Today describes it, the program seems like a thoroughly innocuous database of the same information that appears on your phone bill, but with your name, address and other personal information removed. Given that another government agency — the IRS — maintains information on American citizens’ employment, banking, investments, mortgages, charitable contributions and even any declared medical expenses, this hardly seems like a major assault on personal liberty.
And for all of the hype, there may not even be much “news” here. Last December 24, a few days after they spilled the beans about the NSA terrorist surveillance program, New York Times reporters Eric Lichtblau and James Risen disclosed how U.S. phone companies were helping the NSA by giving them “access to streams of domestic and international communications.”
New White House pressec Tony Snow is taking a more aggressive line with the press corps, sending out emails critical of the elite media's coverage. The DC Examiner's Bill Sammon reports:
New White House Press Secretary Tony Snow is starting off in a combative mode against the press by issuing detailed rebuttals to what he considers unfair coverage of Bush.
“The New York Times continues to ignore America’s economic progress,” blared the headline of an e-mail sent to reporters Wednesday by the White House press office.
Minutes earlier, another e-mail blasted CBS News, which has had an unusually rocky relationship with the White House since 2004, when CBS aired what turned out to be forged documents in a failed effort to question the president’s military service.
“CBS News misleadingly reports that only 8 million seniors have signed up for Medicare prescription drug coverage,” Wednesday’s missive said. “But 37 million seniors have coverage.”
The liberal media are nothing if not militantly in favor of sex, and everything that enables it to be more frequent and fearless. Sunday’s cover story in the New York Times Magazine was a panicked take on "The War on Contraception." The title inside was "Contra-Contraception." The cover showed an enlarged picture of a mocked-up condom wrapper, which said:
If used properly, this latex condom (or for that matter, any other form of birth control, especially the morning-after pill) will anger a great many people – people who believe that having sex without the intent to procreate is a very, very bad thing. Any contraceptive highly effective against pregnancy – that is, unwanted pregnancy, otherwise, why use it? – is precisely the problem, even though there might be fewer abortions if those having sex with no intention to procreate used a contraceptive.
As the polls are gloomy and gloomier for President Bush, it’s time for giddy-Democrat stories. On the front page of Tuesday’s New York Times, reporter Robin Toner’s story is headlined "Optimistic, Democrats Debate the Party’s Vision: Seeking Big Goals and a Clear Alternative to Conservatism." Big goals for government, the opposite of anti-statist conservatism...wouldn’t that be defined as....liberalism?
The L-word does appear a few times, but without much sense of the socialist, soft-on-defense, and libertine-left impulses that drive independent voters into voting Republican. Liberals in the piece are clearly calling for a return to Old Liberalism of the mid-20th century: the Democrats need "a broader vision, a narrative, they say, to return to power and govern effectively – what some describe as an unapologetic appeal to the ‘common good,’ to big goals like expanding affordable health coverage and to occasional sacrifice for the sake of the nation as a whole."
On Saturday, The New York Times and the Washington Post had the same idea: line up average Americans to suggest any emerging macroeconomic happy talk is ignoring how "many people" are still feeling an economic pinch.
The Post put theirs on Page One, the Times on A-10. The Post headline was "Rising Expenses Have Consumers Feeling Pinched." The Times headline was "Despite a Sound Economy, Many Feel the Pinch of Daily Costs." (Online, it’s "Statistics Aside, Many Feel the Pinch of Daily Costs.") So the Post wins for pushing the theme harder, but the theme still suggests newspaper editors who are trying to throw mud pies at Pollyanna before anyone gets too thrilled with the macroeconomic picture.
The "Paper of Record" ran a piece today by Erik Eckholm which lays out the plight that the nation’s “near poor” face on a daily basis. According to “some experts” carefully selected for message compatibility, “vulnerability to poverty” is now the new “poverty.”
Its rather convenient for left-leaning media outlets, in a period of record economic expansion and robust growth (going on two straight years, with lower unemployment that in the 90’s), to find the “tens of millions” who may have financial troubles at some point. Don’t take my word for it – read the “expert” opinion:
The New York Times reported on Saturday that Valerie Plame Wilson has been given over $2.5 million for her memoirs: “The book, whose working title is ‘Fair Game,’ is scheduled to be published in the fall of 2007 by Crown Publishing, an imprint of Random House. Steve Ross, senior vice president and publisher of Crown, said the book would be Ms. Wilson's ‘first airing of her actual role in the American intelligence community, as well as the prominence of her role in the lead-up to the war.’"
This makes one wonder if the drive-by media are going to praise the Bush administration for giving Wilson a new, significantly more profitable writing career. After all, she will likely make more money from this book than she made her entire life working for the CIA.
Now, of course this is being said with a tad bit of tongue in cheek. However, the media have made it one of their goals to regularly drive home the point that this affair ruined Wilson’s career. In fact, as reported by NewsBusters, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and David Shuster both made such assertions during Monday’s version of “Hardball.” For instance, Shuster began Monday’s report:
As if you needed more proof that the New York Times is a newspaper for liberal Democrats, by liberal Democrats, their "TimesTalks" series continues on Sunday, June 4 with a "Sunday With The Magazine" event. In a colorful full-page ad on the back of the B section Friday, the Times promises "today's most authoritative leaders in important discussions about the way live now." It's one thing to guess the Times staffers are going to be liberal. There's one chat with Magazine "ethicist" Randy Cohen ("How We Think And Act"), and there's a panel of Times writers and contributors on "How We See The War In Iraq" (which could be subtitled: "As A Vietnam Sequel.") But the Democrats are officially on the docket in the "How We Govern" segment (with Howard Dean) and the "How We Save the World" segment (with Madeleine Albright). The ad boasts the two interviews:
Thank goodness Zacarias Moussaoui came along to capture the headlines. The lollipop coverage by the mainstream media given to illegal aliens got to be a bit too sugary, especially on the day of that big march. Wall to wall, from airwaves to newsprint, the message was this: Oh come let us adore them.
Talking heads made it clear that if you believe in preserving our sovereignty, you are a bigot.
So what about the millions (including Mexicans!) waiting properly in line to get here by following the rules? Suckers, like me.
Though I haven't tried, because it's useless, no "respectable" newspaper would publish this side of the story, my side, which respresents millions.
The story hasn't been on the media radar much of late, but the legal
team of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former Bush admin official at the
center of the Valerie Plame Wilson leak investigation, came out
swinging this week, landing a number of blows against reporters and
news organizations in a court filing defending Libby's desire to compel
them to submit evidence he deems essential to his defense.
After the Libby team began poking holes in the stories of journalists
Tim Russert, Judith Miller, and Matt Cooper and others, the press
hasn't been especially interested in following the story. There are a
few blogs doing a good job of chronicling the battle between Libby and
special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. One such blog is JustOneMinute,
which has provided a PDF version (and some cogent
analysis) of Libby's most recent filing in two parts, here
The American Thinker has a great
summary of the filing by attorney Clarice Feldman:
been granted a window on the struggle between Lewis
“Scooter” Libby and
the elite media over his access to their internal documents. Libby is
charged with federal crimes because his versions of conversations with
reporters differ from the accounts of the media people. He seeks
evidence from their files about what they knew and what they privately
wrote at the time. In a “he said/she said”
confrontation, access to
supporting evidence becomes critical to the ability to mount a
There is a genuine laugher in the NYT this morning,
attempting to address the current oil price fiasco. Kate
Phillips and Julie Bosman have thrown together a slipshod piece of clichéd
rhetoric, restrained disbelief and ignorance of basic economic
principles so egregious, it would make any alleged informational “smokescreen”
put out there by “Big Oil” seem a petulant effort by contrast.
First, the header. “SYMPATHY AS HARD TO FIND AS OIL.”
Please. Oil is not hard to find - this is merely hyperbole. There are at least one million
barrels per day that the nation is not utilizing thanks to the (Democrat)
environmental lobbyists’ ongoing efforts to stop and restrain oil drilling and exploration
in ANWR and off the Gulf
Coast. I guess sympathy
is easy to find then, no?
A PR campaign by the U.S. military to ease relations with Iraqi civilians is explained this way Tuesday by Pentagon reporter Thom Shanker:
"There is no doubt that in the three years since the invasion, American forces have alienated Iraqis in large numbers, ranging from the catastrophic events at Abu Ghraib prison, where Iraqi detainees were abused by their American jailers, to more minor yet daily insults, when some soldiers have used unnecessarily rough techniques at checkpoints, in raids and during searches."
Is this a news article or an opinion piece?
For more NYT bias, visit the redesigned TimesWatch website.
I linked to a Wall Street Journal editorial
about the elite media's double standard on leaks, especially how leaks
to the New York Times and Washington Post that damaged the Bush admin's
anti-terrorism efforts are awarded prizes while syndicated columnist
Robert Novak is condemned for revealing the occupation of an outspoken
Bush critic. Today, the Journal prints a letter from NYT executive
editor Bill Keller which responds to some of the editorial's charges.
Unsurprisingly, Keller makes no mention of the Valerie Plame Wilson
matter, a scandal which his paper's news and editorial pages have
overhyped since its inception. Instead, he focuses exclusively on leaks
which he does find not only acceptable but praiseworthy, that is the
disclosure that the U.S. may secretly be imprisoning suspected
terrorists (leaked to the Washington Post), and that Americans said to
be communicating internationally with terrorists are being spied on by
the NSA (leaked to the New York Times).
Keller bristles at the Journal's suggestion that the Times's and Post's sources are partisans:
Andrew Revkin is the chief environmental reporter for the Times, a true believer in the idea that humans are making the planet warmer. He also plays in an "acoustic-roots" band, "Uncle Wade," and even wrote an environmental protest ditty, "Liberated Carbon," which he recently performed during a talk at Bowdoin College in Maine.
In this retelling of the creation story, Satan offers coal and oil to humanity instead of an apple (environmentalism as religion, once again).
I'm enjoying Ramesh Ponnuru's new book "The Party of Death," particularly its chapter on the media, "Scribes of the Party of Death." (And that's not just because Ramesh cites my study with Rich Noyes on partial-birth abortion coverage, and how the networks rarely explain what on Earth happens in one.) This is a great line about the New York Times: "The kids at Hogwarts speak the name of Voldemort more freely than the Times editors use the phrase partial-birth abortion." Ramesh brings in his media-elite expert:
Longtime Newsweek correspondent Kenneth Woodward points out that if the editors of the Times really believe the phrase should be avoided because it's not a medical term, they should also remove references to "heart attacks" from their pages as well. If they want to avoid it because one side of the debate objects to it, "female genital mutilation" would have to go as well. The result is not only confusing stories; it is, as Woodward writes, that "every story is framed as a narrative of assault on Roe v. Wade."
Ultraliberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith, perhaps best known to TV/political junkies as an on-air sparring partner of William F. Buckley, has died at the age of 97. I remember seeing the two spar over one of the party conventions on the "Today" show way back when. (I'm guessing it was 1980.) Can you imagine "Today" hosting two intellectuals having a little debate around the conventions today? Today's morning-show world is more likely to be devoted to plastic convention publicity schticks like Republican rappers (remember TRQ, anyone?) and precocious, mop-headed eight-year-old Democrats.
The New York Times greeted Galbraith's death with the headline "Economist Held a Mirror to Society." Apparently, if you believe capitalism is all about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, and you believe avidly in massive government intervention in the economy, you "hold a mirror to society." Or at least a mirror to the face of the New York Times.
Amazing. The day after Anemona Hartocollis's puff piece on the court appearance of 18 anti-war 'grannies' accused of blocking an entrance to a military recruitment center in Times Square, the Times follows up with front-page coverage of their aquittal("New York Judge Tells Grannies To Go in Peace").
"They came, they shuffled, they conquered. "Eighteen 'grannies' who were swept up by the New York City police, handcuffed, loaded into police vans and jailed for four and a half hours were acquitted yesterday of charges that they blocked the entrance to the military recruitment center in Times Square when they tried to enlist.
The front of Thursday’s Metro section features Anemona Hartocollis’ soggy profile of a group of left-wing elderly protesters arrested last October for blocking a military recruiting center in Times Square.
The headline is sweet: "With ‘Grannies’ in the Dock, A Sitting Judge Will Squirm."
The text box is sickeningly sweet: "Who wants to rule against grandmotherhood, or apple pie, or Santa?"
Alongside the piece is a photo of the "Granny Peace Brigade" on the way back to court, complete with red vests, protest buttons, and walking sticks. It’s enough to send a diabetic into sugar shock.
Ironically, the avowedly left-wing Village Voice provides a more substantive and probing article on the group, led by activist Joan Wile, which is officially named "Grandmothers Against the War."
Gas price rage has blended with executive pay rage recently, since the media have been bashing ExxonMobil’s departing CEO, Lee Raymond, for his pay and pension package.
“Runaway pay,” said NBC’s Brian Williams on April 20, calling executive salaries and benefits “stratospheric” and “staggering.” CBS’s Bob Schieffer compared Raymond’s “golden” retirement to the “average American” on April 13. “How much is too much?” asked NBC’s Matt Lauer on April 11. And ABC’s “Good Morning America” said, “You Must Be Kidding!” referring to Raymond’s package as “stunning” on April 14.
Criticizing highly-paid executives has been in vogue at the news networks lately, but there’s something the anchors aren’t telling you: their colleagues’ top wages could soon be disclosed to the world, and Big Media are fighting it.
Large media companies have been doing everything within their power to hide the compensation plans of their own highest-paid employees from public disclosure. As reported by the Associated Press on April 11:
MediaBistro runs an email from NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller sent to liberal journalist Murray Waas, in which Keller claims the Bush adminstration is "declaring war at home on the values they profess to be promoting abroad."
"I'm not sure journalists fully appreciate the threat confronting us -- The Times in the eavesdropping case, the Post for its CIA prison stories, and everyone else who has tried to look behind the war on terror. Maybe we're suffering a bit of subpoena fatigue. Maybe some people are a little intimidated by the way the White House plays the soft-on-terror card.
"Whatever the reason, I worry that we're not as worried as we should be. No president likes reporters sniffing after his secrets, but most come to realize that accountability is the price of power in our democracy. Some officials in this administration, and their more vociferous cheerleaders, seem to have a special animus towards reporters doing their jobs. There's sometimes a vindictive tone in way they talk about dragging reporters before grand juries and in the hints that reporters who look too hard into the public's business risk being branded traitors. I don't know how far action will follow rhetoric, but some days it sounds like the administration is declaring war at home on the values they profess to be promoting abroad."
Wednesday’s lead Times editorial on lethal injection, "Lethal Cruelty," is another dubious attempt by the Times to argue that the death penalty is somehow unconstitutional, that pesky Fifth Amendment notwithstanding.
"Over the years, several justices have concluded that the death penalty is in all cases unconstitutional, including Justice Harry Blackmun, who famously declared, ‘From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.’ We agree with Justice Blackmun and hope that the tinkering will someday stop and that the law of the land will recognize that the Eighth Amendment bars capital punishment completely. But even justices who think the Constitution permits capital punishment should find that lethal injections that torture prisoners in the process of killing them are unconstitutional."
The recent unveiling of the Pulitzer Prizes had more of the same politicized whiff that the Oscars oozed earlier this year. Merit is taking a back seat now to "edginess" in both the news and entertainment media. "Speaking truth to power" is in vogue, even if it’s not true and even if it’s not in the public interest.
The roster of Pulitzer winners had an unmistakeable get-Bush smell to them, especially Dana Priest’s exposing secret prisons in Europe for terrorists in the Washington Post, and James Risen’s and Eric Lichtblau’s NSA-surveillance exposure in the New York Times. The Pulitzers have a prize for Public Service, but these leaks in the War on Terror might better deserve an award for Public Endangerment. As Bill Bennett put it, many Americans think it’s odd that on these stories, "the leaker can be prosecuted, but the person who wrote it down, told every citizen about it, and told every enemy of every citizen of this country gets a Pulitzer Prize."
Sunday's off-lead story by David Cloud is on Mary McCarthy, the CIA analyst fired for leaking classified information about suspected terrorists allegedly being held in secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe. It comes under the comforting headline "Colleagues Say C.I.A. Analyst Played by Rules."
"On Thursday, the C.I.A. fired Ms. McCarthy, 61, accusing her of leaking information to reporters about overseas prisons operated by the agency in the years since the Sept. 11 attacks. But despite Ms. McCarthy's independent streak, some colleagues who worked with her at the White House and other offices during her intelligence career say they cannot imagine her as a leaker of classified information."
Liberal movie critic Manohla Dargis continues to mix popcorn and politics in her Friday review of "American Dreamz."
"But what gives the film its gleam of topicality, its suggestion of relevance, is that it directly sends up both the Bush presidency and 'American Idol,' those twin pillars of contemporary homespun populism. The problem being that, as Jon Stewart, among many others, habitually reminds us, both surrendered to self-parody some time ago."
See Times Watch for more New York Times bias, including Times Watch's just-released study on the paper's fawning coverage of Sen. Hillary Clinton as she prepared for a presidential run in 2008.
Something very good happened in Iraq yesterday, and, for a change, The New York Times noticed. In fact, the editors not only put this news on the front page, but also published an editorial about it – color me shocked.
As you all likely know, Iraq Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has been under immense pressure from the Bush administration to resign due to his failures to form a unified government after the successful December elections. As the Times reported in its lead paragraph: “Under intense domestic and American pressure, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari dropped his bid to retain his job on Thursday, removing a major obstacle to forming a new government during a time of rising sectarian violence.” Paragraph two was just as optimistic: “Leaders from each of Iraq's main factions — Sunni Arab, Shiite and Kurd — called the decision a breakthrough.” So was paragraph three: “‘I believe that we will succeed in forming the national unity government the people are waiting for,’ Adnan Pachachi, the acting speaker of Parliament, said at a news conference at the Convention Center inside the fortified Green Zone.”
Amazing. Three opening paragraphs of positive news about Iraq – on the front page no less. When’s the last time that happened at The Times?
Of course, it wasn’t all positive, as paragraph four demonstrated:
Many of you are likely aware of a book by Peter Schweizer entitled “Do As I Say (Not As I Do).” In it, Schweizer demonstrated the hypocrisy of many popular liberals who espouse one position in public that they clearly don’t follow in their private lives.
Well, it seems that The New York Times is guilty of such hypocrisy. In an article Wednesday concerning a looming shareholder revolt at the Times Company over declining share values, it was revealed that one of the complaints coming from Times’ largest investors is how much upper-managers have been paid during a tough period for the company. In fact, a representative from Morgan Stanley – one of the largest Times shareholders – stated: “‘Despite significant underperformance, management's total compensation is substantial and has increased considerably over this period.’"
Yet, just three days earlier, the Times published a 1024-word, front-page business section article entitled “Fund Managers May Have Pay Secrets, Too”: “Amid all the talk about executive compensation and pay for performance, one group of managers has been pretty much untouched: those who run mutual funds.”
On April 13, The Times published an editorial -- yes, an editorial -- entitled “A Cozy Arrangement” concerning -- you guessed it -- executive pay:
When Sen. John Kerry lost to George W. Bush in the presidential election of 2004, the press turned its attention to 2008 and Sen. Hillary Clinton as a potential Democratic savior.
As Mrs. Clinton’s home state broadsheet, the Times has a front-row seat for the run-up to Election 2008. Yet a Times Watch study has discovered that ever since the Hillary-for-president talk heated up in earnest, the newspaper has used its seat more as a cheering section for Clinton than as a dispassionate perch for objective observation.
A reader wishing for a full, balanced picture of Sen. Hillary Clinton won’t get it from the New York Times, which has followed a pattern of mainstreaming Clinton’s liberal policies while throwing roadblocks in front of her potential Republican Senate opponents and playing down Clinton’s controversial remarks.