To its credit, the Washington Post this morning is reporting an intramural spat roiling inside the Democratic Party in the Old Dominion. Turns out gay rights groups are livid that Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) has nominated Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones to chair the state's Democratic Party. Jones, who happens to be African-American and is a Baptist pastor, "has not endorsed same-sex marriage," the Post's Laura Vozzella noted, even though he has a strong record on other issues of import to the gay-rights movement.
"Activists are working to thwart Jones's election at the party's central committee meeting March 15 -- setting up a highly unusual battle for a sitting governor, whose choice for party chairman is rarely challenged," Vozzella noted in the fourth paragraph of her March 7 front-page story. While the Post deserves kudos for noting the rancorous division within the Democratic ranks, it remains to be seen if MSNBC -- which revels in portraying Republicans as bearing antipathy towards African-Americans -- will dare to cover the story at all.
The Obama administration is preparing to put in place yet another delay in ObamaCare, forestalling a wave of insurance policy cancelations that are mandated by law in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In doing so, some of the negative repercussions of ObamaCare will be delayed until well after the November 2014 midterm election.
The political journalists at the Washington Post are no fools, they must surely realize the nakedly political nature of the move, but the reader would not get that from Amy Goldstein's coverage in March 5 print article, which editors buried at the item at the bottom of page A6 with the bland headline, "Americans may be able to keep old health-care plans longer under rewrite of rules."What's more, Goldstein waited until the eighth and final paragraph to give a fleeting, misleading account of Republican criticism:
The Washington Post Editorial Board has long had a government agriculture policy position that is actually grounded in Reality.
Going back at least half a decade - to the passage of the last terrible Farm Bill - they have been rightly pointing out that the Crony Socialist, picking-losers-at-the-expense-of-winners matrix of taxes, subsidies and quotas is simply a disaster.
Former Washington Post managing editor Robert Kaiser is retiring at age 70, and he’s very cranky about how conservatives have destroyed government and Washington collegiality. This tells you a lot about what kind of liberal edits and massages the Post every day.
Washington Post Metro reporter Aaron Davis has an excellent story in today's paper about ethically-deficient D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) attending a reelection campaign fundraiser at the home of an "incarcerated real estate mogul" who is guilty of having "prey[ed] on homeowners facing foreclosure." Said home, by the way, is $36,000 in arrears on D.C. property taxes. Last year some of Davis's colleagues reported on how the Gray administration had moved to evict elderly residents from their houses for paltry sums of backpaid taxes, many times in cases where they had not been properly notified that they owed the District any money.
Unfortunately for Davis, and more importantly, for Post readers, his editors decided to shuffle his story off to page C5 in the Sunday paper. By contrast, they plastered the front page of Metro with an above-the-fold headline scolding the Virginia state legislature -- the lower house of which is dominated by Republicans -- for not going far enough in its ethics reforms: "Va. moves to tighten ethics rules -- but not too much."
In the Washington Post’s free commuter tabloid Express on Thursday, writer Kristen Page-Kirby wrote a little “Film Riffs” feature about Jesus movies headlined “Jesus Is Magic” (yep, also a title of a snide Sarah Silverman special).
Page-Kirby explained that “In ‘Son of God,’ out Friday, Diogo Morgado plays Jesus of Nazareth, a homeless rabbi who spent a chunk of his childhood as a refugee. Jesus can be quite the box-office draw.” She then listed five movies, none of which were the massive Mel Gibson box-office hit we all remember from 2004. Guess what topped the list instead?
Washington Post drama writer Peter Marks reported Thursday that the Arena Stage company, known in recent years for putting on Kathleen Turner honoring a leftist in “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins,” will stage the world premiere of a three-actor drama in which the main character is conservative Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.
“The Originalist,” by D.C. playwright John Strand, is slated for its premiere on March 6, 2015, and will star Edward Gero , known for, among other roles, playing “Scrooge in Ford’s Theatre’s annual ‘A Christmas Carol’ — as the politically conservative justice.” Marks used the C-word for Scalia, but couldn't manage the L-words for Ivins.
Of the nation's three most respected papers of record -- the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal -- only the latter portrayed accurately the religious freedom legislation -- click here for a .pdf of the bill, SB 1062 -- which Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed Wednesday evening.
Both reporter Tamara Audi and her editors treated Journal readers to a fairly balanced and objective treatment of the veto and the purpose of the underlying legislation. "Veto Kills Arizona Religious Measure," noted the headline on page A2 of the February 27 paper. By contrast, the headers for the print stories at the Washington Post and New York Times were loaded.
Judging by the coverage, the Washington Post thinks a pro-life Republican state senator's sharply-worded rebuke of abortion-rights absolutists is twice as newsworthy as an ethically-challenged nominee to the Democratic governor's Cabinet.
How else do you explain the 16 paragraphs which Post staffer Rachel Weiner devoted to Virginia State Sen. Stephen Martin (R) compared with a mere eight paragraphs to Gov. Terry McAuliffe's (D) pick to head the state commerce department, Maurice Jones? Mr. Jones, Weiner noted citing an inspector general's report, "appears to have violated anti-lobbying law as well as internal HUD policy" when he was the deputy secretary for the federal department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Washington Post’s ongoing love-bombing of John Dingell continued on Wednesday. Post reporter Ben Terris began promoting Dingell’s wife Debbie to take over his seat in Congress, with an announcement now expected on Friday – without one word focused on any Democrat or Republican challengers, and without any pushback to the notion that this House seat is Property of the Dingells.
The headline was “For Dingell, a life primed for politics: As wife of longtime lawmaker she’s ready to run to take over familiar reins.” It should be “one of the easier transitions to Congress,” proclaimed Terris the Post flower-petal tosser:
Yesterday I noted how Washington Post TV columnist Rachel Lubitz made the debut of Ronan Farrow's eponymous afternoon program on MSNBC a "TV Highlight" for the day.
The Post Style section's mission to convince us that we should care about the fair-haired wunderkind -- ermahgerd, he graduated from Yale Law at 21!!!! -- continues apace today with staffer Emily Yahr's mini-bio/timeline, which reads at points like crush-obsessed entries in a diary (emphasis mine):
It would be easy to dismiss the attempt by the leftist groups Credo Mobilize and Forecast the Facts to prevent the Washington Post from publishing Charles Krauthammer's February 20 column ("The Myth of 'Settled Science'") as the whining of immature children who cover their ears and say "la-la, we can't hear you, and we're going to shut you up" every time they come across inconvenient facts.
Howard Kurtz takes the failed effort more seriously, and properly so, given that the petitioners are constantly trying to convince WaPo, the New York Times, and eventually the rest of the establishment press to do what the censors at the Los Angeles Times have already done: stop publishing any op-ed or letter to the editor from anyone they would consider a "climate change denier." Excerpts from Kurtz's Monday "Media Buzz" post at Fox News, plus a Fox News Special Report video showing Krauthammer brilliantly summarizing his column in 89 seconds, follow the jump.
The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker must love his new position as the unofficial spokesman for Bill and Hillary Clinton. In a 30-paragraph front-page piece in Monday’s Post, Rucker declared Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes a “Young Senate Candidate, A Campaign With Star Power.”
Rucker goes on to offer a glowing profile of Ms. Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y) this November and insists that “Clinton’s popularity in Ky. Is a boon for Grimes.” The campaign article began describing how during President Clinton’s first inauguration “a 14-year-old girl from Kentucky presented the new president with a bouquet of red roses at the base of the Lincoln Memorial.” Rucker describes Clinton as an “uncle figure whom Grimes counts as a friend, mentor and advisor.”
Today is quite the busy day on the cable news networks for new debuts. Maria Bartiromo, late of CNBC, made her maiden voyage on her new Opening Bell program on Fox Business Network, and both Ronan Farrow and Joy-Ann Reid launch their eponymous MSNBC programs at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Eastern respectively.
Big friggin deal, you say. I agree, but oddly enough, Washington Post TV columnist Rachel Lubitz found Bartiromo and Farrow's premieres as worthy of noting in her February 24 TV Highlights column, while ignoring Ms. Reid. By contrast, Lubitz found space today to plug the History Channel's latest fascinating foray into non-historical "reality" programming: Cryptid: The Swamp Beast.
On Friday, the Washington Post predictably depicted a Catholic hospital chaplain as the aggressor, after the priest denied an ailing, openly-homosexual patient Communion and the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. The liberal newspaper's Metro-section report on the controversy came less than a week after the section's former editor blasted a Virginia Catholic priest for dissolving his parish's Boy Scout troop over their new pro-LGBT membership policy.
Reporter Michelle Boorstein picked up on the scoop from "America's Leading Gay News Source," the Washington Blade, and hyped how "a Catholic chaplain at MedStar Washington Hospital Center stopped delivering a 63-year-old heart attack patient Communion prayers and last rites after the man said he was gay, the patient said Wednesday, describing a dramatic bedside scene starting with him citing Pope Francis and ending with him swearing at the cleric."
Washington Post reporter Zachary Goldfarb caused spit takes in Washington on Friday morning. At the top left of the paper, the headline is "Obama budget to rebuff austerity." Or, as Goldfarb described the new White House budget document, "Obama will call for an an end to the era of austerity that has dogged his presidency..."
Is there nobody at the Post who can properly understand that the largest deficits in American history have occurred in the past five years? This was quickly mocked on Twitter:
Is The Washington Post a rag for liberal Democrats? It’s certainly striving for that reputation today. On the front page (above the fold) is this story, trying to ruin another GOP presidential hopeful like Chris Christie: “Gov. Walker, eyeing 2016, faces fallout from probes: Release of ex-aide’s e-mails could stall rise of national Republican.”
Meanwhile, on the front page of the Style section is a picture of ex-Republican Charlie Crist hugging Barack Obama on a card that says “Happy Hug-iversary.” The headline over the aticle is “Charlie Crist: Embraceable Blue.” Newly arrived Post reporter Ben Terris reports Crist loves a good hug:
NOTE: Go to the end of this post to see my reaction to an email NB received from OpenSecrets.org.
The web site OpenSecrets.org has done a great deal of useful work. Especially helpful are its lists of high-dollar political campaign donor organizations.
The web site's 1989-2014 and 2012-specific lists, to name just two, demonstrate that the hyperventilating on the left and in the establishment press about the eeeevil Koch Brothers is completely out of line:
Robert McCartney slimed a Northern Virginia Catholic priest in a Sunday column in the Washington Post for his decision to end his parish's relationship with the Boy Scouts for letting openly-homosexual youth to join as scouts. McCartney blasted Father John De Celles, pastor of St. Raymond of Peñafort parish in Springfield, for his supposed "diatribes against gay behavior, liberal activists and similar targets in his weekly columns."
The columnist later touted how "De Celles is in the minority" in disbanding his parish's Cub Scout pack and Boy Scout troop, and bringing in an alternative youth group that "discriminates against boys who refuse to hide their homosexuality," as he spun it. He all but called for discrimination against those who defend traditional sexual morals: "I hope and expect that those with narrow-minded views will be the ones who end up 'marginalized.'"
If it’s the Lord’s Day, The Washington Post is observing it again as LGBT Day. Splashed on the front of the Sunday Outlook section is this, in large capital letters: “GENDERQUEER AT THE GYM: If your identity seems ambiguous, asks law studient Marion Cory, which looker room do you use?”
Like Sandra Fluke, Cory is a law student at allegedly Catholic Georgetown University. Cory didn’t feel that even liberal Washington is progressive enough, and neither are gay gyms:
Michael W. Chapman of our sister site CNSNews.com reports on cost estimates for the hand-sewn gown Michelle Obama wore at Tuesday’s state dinner for the prime minister of France. Think five figures. If Ann Romney were First Lady now, would that escape the media’s politicized scrutiny? (In 2012, she was slammed for wearing a $990 shirt on "CBS This Morning."
Wednesday’s Washington Post merely carried the headline “America, elegantly draped over her shoulders” next to a foot-high page-dominating photograph of Mrs. Obama in the dress. Michelle-loving fashion writer Robin Givhan insisted only “churlish” rumblers would lower themselves to asking about the price tag of a gown like this:
When you and I watch the Olympics, there's three colors we care about: red, white, and blue.
But for liberal sportswriters like the Washington Post's Mike Wise, well, all they can see is skin tone, and they won't let the games pass without moaning about it. Beating the daylights of his hobby horse, Wise began his Feb. 13 column -- mercifully buried on page D7 -- by highlighting perhaps the best-known African-American athlete in Sochi, speedskaterShani Davis and by making lame cracks about the whiteness of the Games:
The latest evidence that Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis can't stay true to her convictions or doesn't have any (take your pick) is her position modification on abortion. Steve Ertelt at Life News relays an underlying Dallas News item, telling his readers that "Davis said she would back a 20-week abortion ban as long as it had two exceptions, to kill disabled babies and a health exception rendering any ban meaningless." Point taken, Steven but the idea that Davis would support anything described as a 20-week ban is a significant change from the position which supposedly drove her to filibuster a Texas law last year containing the ban.
Reaction from the establishment press can fairly be described as schizophrenic ("characterized by a breakdown in thinking and poor emotional responses"), and ranges from crickets to cries of "betrayal" to amazing exercises in excuse-making.
Hidden just below the surface of the liberal media is a barely noticed trend of patronizing contempt: Joe Biden is the Democrats' Dan Quayle, but because he is a Democrat they'll do anything to avoid treating him like they treated Dan Quayle.
The Washington Post trumpeted a new poll recently that showed Hillary Clinton was cleaning Biden's clock in an early poll among Democrats, 73 percent to 12. The Post saw that as great news for Hillary, but not as disastrous news for the man who's currently in his second term as vice president. Try to imagine Al Gore pulling 12 percent in a presidential poll during Clinton's second term.
As we have seen, the television networks have avoided the controversy of President Obama unilaterally delaying another Obamacare provision in the law yet again. Even more absurd is when a newspaper writer whose main task is to cover healthcare also neglects to mention that same elephant in the room. Such was the case with Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post who breezily reported on the details of the latest delay in the employer mandate but does not address the obvious presidential overreach of ignoring the provisions of the statute.
It was left to the readers of the Kliff article to go where Sarah dare not tread. It was another case in which the comments section was way more informative than the article itself. Here is Kliff defining "rewriting" as "relaxing":
How deep in the tank for Obama is The Washington Post? On the front of Monday’s Style section was article headlined “The ring of truth: Aiming to inspire, Obama candidly share his story with at-risk young men from inner-city Chicago. Can he make a difference?”
Bizarrely, the Post put “The ring of truth” over an article where Obama relates to students by referring to his memoir “Dreams From My Father,” so much of which has a ring of falsehood. We know this directly from Washington Post assistant managing editor David Maraniss, whose historical research into Obama's life story informed his view that the memoir was “literature,” not history.
A Christian man was savagely killed Sunday morning by a Muslim lynch mob in Central African Republic, right in front of a Washington Post reporter. "They cut his neck like a cow," Post reporter Sudarsan Raghavan quoted a relative of the victim, Polin Pumandele.
Post print edition editors assigned the story to page A6, giving it a rather bland headline, "Solutions elusive as sectarian violence spreads." By contrast, earlier this morning, WashingtonPost.com editors promoted the story prominently on the paper's landing page, using "They cut his neck like a cow' as the teaser headline and accompanying it with a photo of women mourning his death (see image below the page break):
Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple has cried foul against a New York Observer article titled “The Tyranny and Lethargy of the Times Editorial Page." Wemple is right that this article by Ken Kurson is loaded with negative attacks from anonymous Times “insiders,” but stops short of saying this is exactly what the Times (and the Post) do to politicians they don’t like. (See the Vicki Iseman debacle of 2008.)
But perhaps the funniest part is after finding “17 problems” with the Observer article, he writes he cannot find any problem with people finding columnist Thomas Friedman is a tiresome blowhard:
Leftist delusions can be amazing things. One of them is that the financial deck is stacked against their candidates and causes.
Reid Wilson at the Washington Post attempted to explain it all on Friday. On the plus side, at least he didn't try to pretend, as Evan Halper at the Los Angeles Times did in late December, that there's no one donating to Democrats and progressive causes with the financial clout of the Koch brothers except billionaire and relative newbie activist Tom Steyer. But while Wilson recognized the existence of large Dem donors, he bemoaned the fact that they are supposedly not as well organized, and that their motives, unlike the Kochs, are pure. Really (bolds are mine):
With rapidly rising debt and an unprecedented credit downgrade, Puerto Rico is facing a looming default with terrifying implications on American bond markets, though you would never know about it watching broadcast news.
The leading credit rating firm Standard & Poor’s Rating services downgraded Puerto Rican debt to “junk” status on Feb. 5, with further downgrades likely. Despite Puerto Rico having more than three times as much debt as Detroit did before bankruptcy, the broadcast networks paid no attention to this looming crisis in the six months before Feb. 1, 2014.
Puerto Rico, with $70 billion in debt and 14.7 percent unemployment, edges closer to a default. Regardless, ABC, CBS and NBC did not air a single story covering this crisis between Aug. 1, 2013 and Feb. 1, 2014.