Of late, many left-wing media critics have been ostensibly interested in protecting the independence of journalism from hypothetical conservative media ownership. Unfortunately, as Howard Kurtz pointed out over the weekend, these people are remarkably cavalier when the left-leaning billionaires like Warren Buffett start buying up media outlets.
Another example of how such critics are not very sincere is one George Norcross, a man known within the Philadelphia area as a long-time Democratic donor, activist, and fundraiser. He also happens to be the co-owner of the region’s two largest newspapers, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Philadelphia Daily News.
Credit Joe Scarborough not just for devoting a significant Morning Joe segment to the Gosnell abortion-murder trial today--but for declaring that he will have a reporter covering the trial--Joe Slobodzian of the Philadelphia Inquirer--back again tomorrow and throughout the week.
Ed Rendell—who was governor of Pennsylvania from 2003-10 while many of the horrors unfolded and the clinic went uninspected—was on today's Morning Joe panel. Scarborough questioned Rendell as to how this could have happened on his watch. Rendell claimed he knew nothing of the goings-on in the abortion clinic, that it was a question of bureaucratic bungling, and that he came under no pressure from abortion advocates to look the other way. View the video after the jump.
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.
Each morning, NewsBusters is showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala on September 27. (Click here for ticket information)
We’ve already published the worst quotes of 1988 and 1989; today, the worst of 1990. Highlights include: Time magazine saluting Mikhail Gorbachev as “the communist Pope and the Soviet Martin Luther;” CBS finding “nostalgia” for the Berlin Wall; and Knight Ridder’s economics reporter giving this slanted take on the 1980s: “Reaganomics delivered a feast to the greedheads and starvation to the poor.” [Quotes and video below the jump.]
The keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention spoke of the importance of respect early on in his speech last night, especially when it’s compared to the fleeting nature of popularity for anyone in a leadership role.
But alas some in the liberal media were far too busy thinking of jokes they could make at the New Jersey governor’s expense rather than actually listen to what he had to say.
The secular mainstream media often do a shoddy job of accurately reporting on religious news, but this takes the cake.
Writing about how the Rev. James St. George was terminated earlier this month from his post as part-time professor at Chestnut Hill College, the Associated Press insisted the openly gay man "belong[s] to a branch of Catholicism not associated with the Vatican that has different views on gay issues."
On Monday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, during the show’s regular "Tea Time" segment, host Keith Olbermann attacked a recent Tea Party event in Philadelphia that made a point of inviting minority participation and included many minority speakers.
As he cited reports by the Philadelphia Inquirer of low minority attendance at the rally which also allegedly had fewer attendees overall than expected, Olbermann suggested that merely having an event on such a theme of inviting minorities was an admission that the Tea Party movement is racist. Olbermann: "As you know, if you point out that the Tea Party is virtually all white, you're the racist. Of course, that does raise the interesting question of why the Tea Party would feel compelled to have what one of its leaders called a minority-based Tea Party event."
The New York Times's former Middle East Bureau Chief thinks violent revolt is a laudable response to economic woes, and that murder is at least acceptable in pursuit of a far-left agenda. The media so concerned with the potential for violence from conservative groups are completely silent.
"Here’s to the Greeks," wrote Chris Hedges at Truthdig.com. "They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country." Riot, by Hedges's account, is the correct response. That the riots in Greece have so far killed three innocent people doesn't seem to bother him.
Oh but it's not violence borne of a frustration with an unsustainable welfare state that finally reached the inevitable conclusion of skyrocketing public benefits coupled with a fast-shrinking population. No, the riots are "a struggle for liberation" against the oppressive bourgeoisie (capitalists). Hedges is advocating in no vague terms mass political violence. The response from the media: crickets.
After getting caught with their pants down on letter-to-the-editor pages, newspapers around the country apparently haven't embarrassed themselves enough yet.
Instead of admitting Ellie Light's submission should never have gotten published, editors have recently tried to save face by using remarkable spin: opinion pages are a "privilege" that people should be thankful for, even if they are full of partisan talking points.
On Tuesday, talk radio host Michael Smerconish expressed legitimate concern about astroturf showing up in hometown papers under false pretenses - a personal concern of his since he also writes columns for the Philadelphia Daily News.
The next morning, the News lashed out with some venom:
For several days NewsBusters has been chronicling media outrage over Catholic bishop Tom Tobin asking pro-choice Patrick Kennedy to refrain from the sacrament of communion.
In all of their indignation over a church being involved in politics, they must have forgotten about the recent past when President Obama asked churches to help him push government-mandated healthcare. When ministers stepped into the politicial discussion back then, media outlets were more than willing to celebrate it.
In late August of this year, President Obama held a meeting with left-leaning religious leaders to convince them that government mandated healthcare was a "moral imperative," and that ministers should be involved in educating their fold on the issue.
The media protrayed the meeting as a great idea and praised the ministers who attended. MSNBC ran an article from CQ writer Jane Norman that gushed with excitement over sermons laced with politics and prayer meetings aimed at congressional districts:
In an interview on CNBC's Nov. 3 "Squawk Box," following the announcement of his purchase of Burlington Northern (NYSE:BNI), Buffett was asked to comment on the future of news media, in particular newspapers and business news by "Squawk Box" co-host Becky Quick. Buffett is optimistic on the future of business news.
"Our system has just gotten started," Buffett said. "I mean, we've had a couple of hundred years of progress, but we have not exhausted our potential in this country. America's about business and business in America, you know have gone to greatness hand and hand. So, you do not need to worry about CNBC 10 or 20 or 30 years from now. Business will always be important to the American public."
"Jon Corzine is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."
Okay, Jonathan Tamari didn't use those exact words when he wrote an incredibly fawning Philadelphia Inquirer article about Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey who is running for re-election but the words he did use sure come close to that sentiment. See, Corzine's problems weren't really because he presided over a massive budget deficit.The real problem was his difficulty in proper communication...at least according to Tamari:
In his formal introduction to Trenton, his inaugural speech, Corzine read from notes, barely looking up, absorbed in his own message. Problems with communicating would come to plague his term in office.
That video totally nuked claims by ACORN National and ACORN Philly that O'Keefe and Giles had been "shown the door" and "kicked out" after a "few minutes" in their Philly Office visit -- claims that establishment media outlets continued to repeat even, as shown in the excerpt that follows, after ACORN was proven to have lied about what happened in New York City and San Diego.
Billy Hallowell at BigGovernment.com has a great recap of the not well-known ACORN and media goofs that have occurred since James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles released their first two sting videos (links are in original):
The mainstream media were complicit in their coverage of the ACORN scandal. Their behavior was and continues to be an insult to democracy and journalistic responsibility as the Fourth Estate has ignored facts, engaged in one-sided sourcing, and avoided basic and inherently important journalistic questioning.
Melissa Harris Lacewell penned "Why blacks are more optimistic about race" for Friday's Philadelphia Inquirer. As might be expected, the associate professor of politics and African American studies at Princeton University and author of the breathlessly anticipated "Sister Citizen: A Text for Colored Girls Who've Considered Politics When Being Strong Isn't Enough," is very, very happy with Barack Obama. But readers may be at least mildly surprised at what she considers the highlight of his inauguration:
But the best part of Jan. 20 was that Barack and Michelle got out of the bulletproof black Cadillac and walked the streets -- and no one shot at them. I know we are not allowed to say it, but one reason black people believe race relations have improved in America is because Obama lived through the primaries, the election, the inauguration, and now through 100 days.
She claims "we are not allowed to say it," yet then does exactly that. She goes on to cite various Obama acts that she deems accomplishments. Closing Guantanamo, signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, capping executive pay, and performing a "deft move of racial defiance by proxy" through attorney general Eric Holder's terming the U.S. a nation of cowards are some of the highlights. Others came when he "dapped up" Hugo Chavez, "hung out" in Canada, "fired the head of General Motors, something most people didn't even know an American president could do," and "established serious street cred."
Remember the outrage over the compensation paid out to AIG executives earlier this year, after the federal government had to extend a lifeline to troubled insurance provider? Will the executives of a media company receive the same treatment - should they get their wish and receive help from the government for their company?
There's a little-publicized story that the parent company of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Newspapers LLC allegedly sought a $10-million bailout from the state of Pennsylvania according to lawsuit filed by a Chester County, Pa. charter school. However, the Associated Press reported on April 24 that the company's chief, Brian Tierney - received $1.175 million in salary and bonus compensation in 2008, despite being forced into bankruptcy protection in February for $395 million in debt.
"Recent court filings also show that Tierney collected $1.175 million in salary and bonuses last year, somewhat higher than previously disclosed," Maryclaire Dale wrote for the AP. "Tierney's compensation included $650,000 in salary, a $350,000 bonus for 2008, a $175,000 bonus for 2007 and $81,000 in transportation costs."
Vincent Fumo's chronicle of corruption is extraordinary, even by the "standards" of Philadelphia, PA.
Thus, it's a journalistic fail that in a story about the convictions of former 30-year state senator Fumo and longtime associate Ruth Arnao, NBC Philadephia (HT Michelle Malkin) did not identify his or her Democratic Party party affiliation.
Here is a portion of NBC Philly's early-morning story:
Fumo Guilty on All Counts
Guilty is the verdict on all 137 counts for Vince Fumo in his federal corruption trail. His co-defendant Ruth Arnao is also guilty on all counts against her.
Two situations over the weekend illustrate that the Associated Press's habitual failure to identify the political party of Democrats in trouble is more than likely a conscious decision. This is despite the AP Stylebook's guidance (as of 2000, the latest free edition I can find; a PDF is here) that a reporter should "include party affiliation if readers need it for understanding or are likely to be curious about what it is."
In both of the instances I will cite, local papers decided that party affiliation was important enough to include. But AP reporters decided that they weren't, even though out-of-state readers are less likely to know the party affiliation of the politician(s) involved.
Former Philadelphia Inquirer editorial page editor Chris Satullo, who in a July 1, 2008 editorial suggested that “America doesn't deserve to celebrate its birthday” on Independence Day due to the “waterboarding, the snarling dogs, the theft of sleep” used on some enemy combatants since 9/11, has been hired to become the director of news operations for WHYY, the PBS affiliate in the Philadelphia area.
Inquirer television critic Jonathan Storm, who wrote about Satullo’s hiring on Thursday, mentioned how William J. Marrazzo, WHYY’s president and CEO, complimented the liberal columnist as an “an outstanding journalist with a track record in civic engagement who understands this community like the back of his hand.”
This same “outstanding journalist,” in his November 9, 2008 column in the Inquirer, referred to the ideology of Sarah Palin supporters as “a rump conservatism that is small-town, resentful, anti-intellectual, and lily white” and praised “smarter analysts” such as David Frum, Kathleen Parker, Christopher Buckley and David Brooks, all of whom criticized the Alaska governor and/or supported Obama.
The chair of the Connecticut College history department, Catherine McNicol Stock, has suggested that Sarah Palin is somehow associated with Pacific Northwest hate groups such as Posse Comitatus and the Aryan Nations. Her proof? Well, because Palin lived in areas with low "diversity." I kid you not. Here is the professor's "learned thesis" presented in a Philadelphia Inquirer opinion column melodramatically titled, "Intolerance thrives in Palin's Pacific Northwest" (emphasis mine):
Despite her efforts to portray herself as an average, small-town, "folksy" American, Sarah Palin's political views - ardently pro-gun, pro-censorship, antichoice and antigay - make John McCain's conservative credentials pale in comparison. What few observers have said, however, is these beliefs are not just extreme - they are radical, and even bear a comparison with some of the most notorious "rural radicals" of our time.
Mario Cattabiani of the Philadelphia Inquirer wants you to know that Governor Sarah Palin's selling of her state's plane is no big deal. Why? Well, because Democrat Governor Ed "Fast Eddie" Rendell sold his state's plane, too, and he got a better deal. So, Palin's plane purveying pales next to Rendell's according to Cattabiani. Only, there are quite a few facts that Cattabiani seems to have skipped in his story. So, apparently, the only way for the Philly Inquirer to pooh pooh Palin's efforts is to mislead us about Rendell's. Unfortunately for Cattabiani, his piece ends up being just another way to lie about Palin's record.
Starting out suitably flippant, Cattabiani takes a sarcastic jab at Palin telling her that she should "take a lesson from the Rendell administration on how to sell a state airplane," and then goes on to relate how Rendell sold his state plane at a profit. And Cattabiani then quotes a Rendell crony to the effect that Palin is "inexperienced" because of it all. Naturally, there is no investigation into what sorts of planes the two Governors sold, nor what they were worth because it turns out the Pennsylvanian plane was worth more than the Alaskan plane in the first place -- nor does Cattabiani give the Palin camp any space to reply to the political jab.
You know, I was wondering when this was going to happen, when someone in the MSM would say Bush has ruined July Fourth? The Philadelphia Inquirer didn't disappoint by wallowing in the worst example of blame-America-above-all as well as the most extreme case of BDS that I've seen outside the kind of nutroot sites like Daily Kos and the Democratic Underground. A mainstream paper has now gone that extra mile to let us all know that America does not deserve a July Fourth celebration this year because of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, CIA secret prisons, and, lest you imagine otherwise, the fact that we have made George W. Bush our president. "Cancel the parade" because America is evil. It's all there in all it's anti-American splendor in A not-so-glorious Fourth, U.S. atrocities are unworthy of our heritage.
Inquirer columnist Chris Satullo thinks that America is fraught with sin and that we don't deserve a Fourth celebration. "This year, America doesn't deserve to celebrate its birthday," he whines. "This Fourth of July should be a day of quiet and atonement."
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.
Dick Polman is a long time Philly columnist and extreme left-winger that rarely makes any attempt to seem "fair and balanced," so it isn't surprising that his latest attempt at prescient punditry is a plaintive plea for the Democrats to chill out and just get along so that they can beat the "septuagenarian" McCain. But, his piece is so filled with horribly misconstrued historical analysis that it is hard to let him slide and mark it up solely as another forgettable example of the kind of partisan claptrap most of his work turns out to be. But, with the sort of half informed historical analysis he indulges in to cajole people to vote for the Democrats, this latest piece is too dishonest to just let it slide by. If anything calls for a fisking, this one does.
Polman starts his lamentably bad history lesson with this taunt to the Democrats.
If the Democrats somehow contrive to blow this presidential election, they should be consigned to the dustbin of history - or to a display case at the Smithsonian, where perhaps they can share space with the Whigs.
To which I say, heck, if the Democrats weren't consigned to the dustbin of history after supporting slavery, starting a civil war, losing that war after 620,000 Americans died, supporting Jim Crow, supporting Japanese internment, continuing to support Jim Crow, fighting civil rights, and building a failed and expensive socialist state, a little primary fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is certainly not going to do them much harm!
Not that it comes as a surprise, but should Chris Matthews reveal his pro-Obama rooting interest as blatantly as he did today?
On this evening's Hardball, the man who gets a thrill from Barack expressed "concern" that Hillary might have a stronger-than-expected finish in the Pennsylvania Dem primary. Matthews was reading the tea leaves with two Keystone State pros: Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer and veteran journalist Larry Kane. After Kane reported that the Obama people are more optimistic than they're letting on, and believe it's going to be a "close finish," Matthews let his Obama slip show in this exchange with Polman.
Remember all those stories during Monicagate about how being a serial philandering president might not necessarily be a bad thing? NBC's Bob Faw captured that zeitgeist, saying in 1998 that actually, Bill Clinton was in very good company.
"It might put Mr. Clinton’s conduct with a certain intern in a different light," he said, referring to allegations by liberal historians that Jefferson had sexual relations with his slave Sally Hemings. "After all, if Bill Clinton’s favorite President could end up on Mount Rushmore and the $2 dollar bill despite being sexually active with a subordinate [...] it does reveal another self-evident truth: that heroes, even Presidents, aren’t saints. They’re flesh and blood."
With that "journalism" in mind, it makes you wonder how liberal reporters would have covered the shenanigans of Eliot Spitzer had the New York Democratic governor decided to fight back instead of resigning. Luckily for the record, a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter named Fay Flam provided us with a perfect example of how it might have been. She begins:
How thoughtful of the AP to give NewsBusters a Christmas contestant for “Name That Party.” Consider this post our thank you note for the timely gift!
In this December 25 article, the AP buried the party affiliation of Democratic Philadelphia mayor John F. Street in the very last sentence of a ten-paragraph article about the mayor taking an extra $111,000 in pay raises that he rejected while in office. He now wants to take the money through a program he he once vetoed, claiming the city couldn't afford it. He then played the race card and asked as a politician elected mainly by "poor black people" "what will I do" without the extra money.
Not only did the AP bury Street's party, it didn't label him a Dem outright, instead indirectly referred to a “fellow Democrat” as the only party identification. (Thnx to NBer DaBird)
Also missing are references to Street's financial troubles, some relating to his office, and several corruption scandals, earning him a 2005 Time magazine award as one of the worst top-three big city mayors. Note the many spots for a label:
Apparently, the Philly Inquirer wants us to know that the GOP candidates for president are drooling, half sentient, Bible thumping, gun toting, racists. Oh, and Fred Thompson is stupid and lazy. Just as apparently, the Philadelphia Inquirer is having trouble finding writers for their rag. I mean, what else could explain their giving a teenager a shot at filling space in the Sunday issue? Of course, I could be wrong. It could be that Dick Polman only writes like a 15-year-old. Worse, Polman seems to have sold himself to the Inquirer as some sort of comedian with "The American Debate, For the love of guns, God and Reagan," too. But, if he IS an adult and really does think his Sunday piece is funny, well, there's no accounting for taste -- or sense -- on the far left, I suppose. I guess the joke is on the readers of the Inquirer.
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):
On Tuesday, Jesse Jackson, the Brady bunch -- not the TV folk but the anti-gun lobby -- and other liberal activists rallied against “the national scourge of illegal guns” in cities around the nation.
The networks ignored the event, probably because turnout was so embarrassingly low. The Chicago Tribune reported that “about 200” piled out of three buses in Lake Barrington, Illinois, the Chicago-area protest keynoted by Jackson himself. The Philadelphia Inquirer said “about 200” showed up in Philly. The Dallas Morning News reported about 60 demonstrators in South Dallas, and AP said “about 100”attended the Washington, D.C. event held in nearby District Heights, Maryland.
Anti-gun activists were counting on good coverage if they had big turnouts, and no negative coverage if they didn’t. It’s the flip side of how the media cover pro-life rallies, downplaying enormous crowds and playing up the handful of counter demonstrators. In this case, the networks chose to look benignly in the other direction. The gun grabbers know that liberal journalists don’t like guns. Or, rather, they don’t like private citizens owning guns and taking personal responsibility for their own safety and that of their families and property.
How do we know? From the loaded coverage night after night on the networks and each day in major newspapers. A new CMI study, The Media Assault on the Second Amendment, documents seven months of media coverage of gun issues, and explains how the media are taking potshots at the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
The indicted former Newark Mayor and current NJ state Senator Sharpe James sure is mysterious. According to the New York Times, WNBC and via the AP, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, Philadelphia Inquirer and the UK's Guardian, among others, James seemingly does not belong to a political party. Maybe he belongs to the same non-party as Rep. William Jefferson who was indicted on corruption and bribery charges earlier this year (hat tip to a NewsBusters reader):
Strangely, after a little digging, I discovered that James is a Democrat and that according to the prosecution, some of his alleged expenses included costly trips to Jamaica, Rio de Janeiro and Puerto Rico on the taxpayer's dime, as well as letting a girlfriend buy city property at bargain-basement prices.