In all the many media interviews with Bob Woodward about his book, State of Denial, they were almost exclusively focused on the supposed mistakes of the Bush administration. The pundits almost unanimously concluded that Woodward's book would therefore be harmful to the Republicans going into this November's elections. However, overlooked by them is a section of the Woodward book that is now causing a firestorm in the Leftwing blogosphere against perhaps the most important Democrat political operative of them all, James Carville. M.J. Rosenberg in "The Coffeehouse" blog asks, "Did Carville Tip Bush Off to Kerry Strategy (Woodward)"?
For Virginia voters who may want a story or two about where their Senate candidates stand on the issues, they may want to try a newspaper other than The Washington Post. Once again today, aggressively Allen-bashing reporter Michael Shear is skipping the issues and sticking to personal attacks. At the top of Metro, Shear once again tried to undermine Allen for wearing cowboy boots and riding a horse in parades. Byron York already made the case very effectively at The Corner, so here he is:
Shear reports that "Allen's detractors" make fun of his fondness for all things cowboy. "To them, it screams phony," Shear writes. Shear quotes one such detractor who says, "With all due respect, I know cowboys. I grew up with cowboys. I have nephews who bull ride. I'm sorry, George, you're not a cowboy."
In State of Denial, Bob Woodward claims Marine Gen. James L. Jones, the U.S. commander for Europe, said that the Iraq war is a "debacle" and that "the Joint Chiefs have been systematically emasculated by Rumsfeld."
Two reporters from two publications followed up on the story. They couldn't have reached more diametrically opposed conclusions as to whether Woodward quoted Jones accurately. How's this for dueling headlines?
The Washington Post has gotten around to noticing the popularity of baseless conspiracy theories about gas prices.
After all, a recent USA Today poll found 42 percent of respondents believe gas prices are being deliberately rigged for the GOP's political advantage.
But even as he sought to dismiss the theories' plausibility, reporter Steven Mufson relied on liberal activist Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen to argue a kernel of truth to the notion that politics plays a role in oil and gas prices.
"I don't think the influence is as explicit as some people out there are alleging. But all markets are susceptible to politics, and oil is no exception," Slocum told the Post.
John F. Harris explores the role of the "new media" in politics in a Friday front-page story related to his new book "How to Win." Bill Clinton told Harris that they expect the (liberal) old media to crush the new media, as Kerry expected the old media to defeat the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth:
Democrats of his generation tend to be naive about new media realities. There is an expectation among Democrats that establishment old media organizations are de facto allies -- and will rebut political accusations and serve as referees on new-media excesses.
"We're all that way, and I think a part of it is we grew up in the '60s and the press led us against the war and the press led us on civil rights and the press led us on Watergate," Clinton said. "Those of us of a certain age grew up with this almost unrealistic set of expectations."
After all, it is remarkable that the Post would run any story comparing the disparate treatment Democrats have received at the hands of the press and their constituencies as a result of sex-related scandalous behavior compared to their Republican counterparts.
But upon further review, as surprising as Farhi's effort is, when you group all of the people identified in Farhi's article into categories by party and how they were treated, you realize that Farhi glossed over important elements relating to Democrats who were (eventually) punished, and you note at least two very, very glaring omissions.
The Washington Post, an altogether shameless publication on many levels, is running this inexcusable excuse for an obituary by Patricia Sullivan for the late Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage, a great defender of freedom who died in a car accident Monday. The obituary, which maintains the Post's tradition of including factual errors, is, in a word, bitchy. (Go read it, if you question my use of that particular word.)
Helen Chenoweth-Hage was a very gracious and kind lady who believed strongly in liberty and fought for it in Congress and out. Although the undeservedly smug mainstream press unfairly parodied her beliefs during her six years on Capitol Hill (95-00 -- unfortunately, before the advent of blogs that could help balance the reporting), she was undeterred.
Better prepare yourselves for an alternate reality, folks, because the shocks came early and often in this piece (emphasis mine throughout): “Sex scandals involving politicians are as old as Thomas Jefferson, but the outcome seems to depend on which party you represent. In recent years, for the most part, Democrats have been able to survive their sordid escapades while Republicans have paid with their political lives.”
Can’t be the Washington Post, right? Checking that link about now? The article miraculously continued after briefly discussing the current scandal involving Rep. Mark Foley (R-Florida):
Monday's online chat sessions with Washington Post reporters found some typical Democrat-defending responses. The daily political chat, hosted Monday by Shailagh (that's Shay-la) Murray, included a defense of the woman the Democrats already call "Speaker Pelosi" on the Bill Jefferson scandal:
Arlington, Va.: Do you think Nancy Pelosi will ever understand that investigating House members for "crimes" must come equally hard upon all Democrats as well? Has she done anything to investigate William Jefferson in Lousiana or blocked him from being on the ballot? Did Nancy Pelosi have as much anger in the 1980's when a Republican and a Democrat in Congress treated pages inappropriately? How does Nancy Pelosi feel about Mel Watts, who served time in prison for sex crimes with a minor? Why is he a member of Congress? Sounds like Pelosi is a hypocrite, or do you think that term is too harsh?
If Matt Lauer ever decides to leave 'Today,' he has a promising career ahead of him interpreting for the hearing-impaired at meetings of Moveon.org and like-minded groups.
Interviewing Bob Woodward on this morning's 'Today' about his Bush-bashing State of Denial, Lauer served as a cheerleader worthy of Katie at her perkiest.
At one point, Lauer summarized matters thusly:
"You paint a picture of a White House and administration that is not tone deaf in some cases but that literally in some cases puts their hands over their ears and said we don't want to hear the information if the information is not going to bolster our company line."
That's when, in the screen capture shown here, Lauer 'helpfully' mimed the White House's 'hear no evil' attitude that Woodward alleges.
Howard Kurtz has two notable stories on political bias in today's "Media Notes" column -- first, a spicy review of how all the liberal journalists loathe Fox News and its chieftain, Roger Ailes. Second, New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse spouted that her splenetic speech at Harvard in June saying Team Bush has created a "law-free zone" and decrying religious "fundamentalists" taking over our government were a "statement of facts," not opinion! The Ailes interview is entertaining:
Vanity Fair recently pegged Ailes as No. 44 on its New Establishment list, calling him "the most powerful news executive in America." But it also called him "the man who gives the Bush administration a major media outlet" and described Dick Cheney -- who demands that his hotel TVs be preset to Fox -- as his "big loyal friend."
In the weekend stories about the new Bob Woodward book, the conventional wisdom was that Woodward's first two Bush books were too supportive and sympathetic to the Bush White House, and now he's finally displaying some independence. But left out of that spin is Woodward's support and sympathy for the Clintons during their time in the White House. Revisit a few Brent Bozell columns for a reality check.
In 1994, Bozell wrote a column cheekily titled: "Woodward and Bernstein: Whitewater Wimps." Oh, how the scourges of Watergate went soft. Brent was especially flabbergasted by Woodward claiming Hillary was not a crook because the statute of limitations expired:
Even worse, a week later, Woodward presented this delicious lawyer's defense of the First Lady's cattle killing: "Would it be possible that there's a crime involved in the $100,000 in the futures market? This was what, 15 years ago, so the statute of limitations automatically means it's not a crime." Somewhere in New Jersey, Nixon is giggling.
Newly minted Newsweek editor Jon Meacham is promoting liberal former Sen. John Danforth again in a Sunday book review in The Washington Post. He's also praising a new book called The Politics of Jesus by Obery Hendricks Jr. (The subtitle's all about Jesus as a political revolutionary.) Like many other liberal journalists, Meacham is desperately seeking someone to convince traditionally religious Americans that they shouldn't be giving their votes to conservatives. So they cheer a whole series of "intellectually stimulating" books that lamely attempt to recruit traditionalist Christians and Jews to vote for the loosey-goosey libertine party:
Hendricks's Christian manifesto for a politically liberal vision of America and of the world arrives at an especially rich moment in the long-running debate over the role of religion in the nation's public life. After roughly three decades of largely ceding the language of faith to political conservatives, liberals are mounting an aggressive and often intellectually stimulating counterattack.
To their credit, The Washington Post took up the issue of sex-themed T-shirts at local high schools on the front page Tuesday. It makes you wonder who the most worrisome tastemakers are, the T-shirt makers, or some children's parents:
Allison Wynn, 17, a senior at Osbourn Park High School in Prince William County...said she is fond of wearing a shirt that says, "Don't Call Me a Cowgirl Until You See Me Ride." Joanne Wynn said her daughter's shirts are humorous. "If it's not in good taste, I don't let [her] wear it," she said.
Mrs. Graham e-mailed me about how the local Top 40 station made this mildly conservative story its main topic of conversation. They had people calling in talking about their own T-shirts. They mentioned that you can buy baby "onesies" with sayings on them too.
As Clarice Feldman points out here at The American Thinker, after weeks of front page coverage of allegations of racism against Senator George Allen in the Virginia Senate race, the Washington Post suddenly reversed course and used an editorial to suggest enough is enough, but only after serious allegations of irresponsible and potentially racist behavior on the part of Democrat Jim Webb surfaced.
After countless front page Washington Post stories overplaying Sen. Allen’s “Macaca” remark, and extensive coverage of charges against Allen, obviously orchestrated by Professor Sabato (who seems to have retreated from claims suggesting he had personal knowledge of Allen’s racism), a story has emerged about Webb’s racism which is more direct and damning.
In Thursday’s Washington Post, deep inside a story on page B-2, the George Allen campaign provided a man named Dan Cragg, a former acquaintance of Allen’s Democratic challenger, Jim Webb. Cragg said Webb used the N-word "while describing his own behavior during his freshman year at the University of Southern California in the early 1960s...[Cragg said] Webb described taking drives through the black neighborhood of Watts, where he and members of his ROTC unit used racial epithets and pointed fake guns at blacks to scare them."
The Post puts this in the eighth paragraph of a Michael Shear story on the front of Metro headlined "Webb Denies Ever Using Word As Epithet." The subhead was "Racial Slur Overshadowing All Else in Contest."
A. telling a story in which the n-word is liberally used, or
B. driving through a black neighborhood, flaunting rifles and yelling racial epithets?
I'm going with 'B.' So why did Chris Matthews devote the first half of this afternoon's "Hardball" to the n-word story, and not one second to the driving-through-the-black-neighborhood story?
You don't suppose, do you, that it could have anything to do with the fact that 'A' concerns Republican George Allen, and 'B' his Dem challenger, James Webb?
Matthews opened Hardball with an extended segment featuring Patricia Waring, who in 1978 was apparently the wife of the coach of the University of Virginia rugby club team. She claims that, attending one game, she overheard George Allen telling a story in which he repeatedly used the n-word. She says she confronted him about it, asking him not to use the word.
The bottom half of today's Style section front page of the Washington Post screams "Hopelessly Transparent Liberal Newspaper." The goo-fest is at its most gooey in "The Democrats Charisma Doctor," David Montgomery's latest left-wing valentine, awarded to "superstar" Sen. Barack Obama and his "seductive lassitude."
On his weblog at TVWeek.com, Washington Post television critic Tom Shales defended Bill Clinton's "exhilarating kind of tension" to his fight with Chris Wallace, hoping the ex-President would "pop him one." Clinton was "energized and galvanizing; he spoke with force and finesse" and was "smart to come armed with articulate and persuasive responses." Wallace was a "baby" and "behaved like a sissy-pants" when he was attacked. Somehow, within a few sentences, Shales was attacking former CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg as "yelping like a dog" at his critics, and then Shales weirdly compared him to a radical Muslim: "It’s like the Islamic extremists who, if you call them prone to violence, threaten to kill you for insulting them."
So much for strength (or newsworthiness) in numbers. Inside Wednesday's Washington Post, reporter Michelle Boorstein covered a tiny protest inside the Hart Senate Office Building yesterday, where 35 were arrested. Last week, as many as 35,000 people protested in New York in support of Israel and against Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, featuring speakers like U.S. Ambassador John Bolton and Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel -- which the Post ignored.
The Boorstein article, complete with cover photo of a protester being removed in handcuffs, was strategically placed on A-14, just above the continuation of a heartbreaking article on the first female West Point graduate, a local woman, being killed in Iraq -- also accompanied by a color photo, of the burial. Boorstein reported on the Hart building protest in a typical way, where no one in attendance was the slightest bit liberal: "Dozens of police streamed into the atrium and arrested about 35 people, including Rick Ufford-Chase, who until recently was a top official of the Presbyterian Church (USA)."
The New York Times was routinely slow on any allegation of past adultery or even sexual assault by Bill Clinton, dismissing them as lacking convincing evidence, as "toxic waste" designed to damage his campaign. But when Democratic opponents of Sen. George Allen charged that Sen. George Allen used the word "nigger" in the past -- a very politically toxic matter -- the Times was quick to honor it as fit to print. On Tuesday, reporter David Kirkpatrick wrote a story for the top of page A-20 with two photos, headlined "2 Ex-Acquaintances of Senator Allen Say He Used Slurs."
The Times never did more than two paragraphs on the Allen campaign's distribution of an article in which Webb opposed women in combat. In a September 18 article touting Webb's "rising" campaign, Robin Toner put this in paragraphs 23 and 24: "In the past week, the Allen campaign has taken aim at Mr. Webb on two counts: highlighting his opposition, in an article he wrote 27 years ago, to women in combat and at the Naval Academy, and asserting that Mr. Webb has no right to use videotape of President Ronald Reagan praising him in a new television advertisement. On women in combat, Mr. Webb said that he was sorry for any pain his writing had caused, that times had changed, and that he should be judged by what he did in the intervening years to expand opportunities for women."
The Washington Post continued their media frenzy against Sen. George Allen Tuesday by putting charges from the left-wing website Salon.com that Allen used the word "nigger" freely as a young man on the top of the front page of the Metro section (at least in Virginia editions). The headline was "Allen Denies Using Epithet to Describe Blacks: Senator Accused of Making Racial Slur During and After College." The Post included horrified denials from Allen's first wife and college friends and teammates, but it had all the damaging flavor of "Allen Denies Beating Wife."
The story by Michael Shear and Tim Craig has at least two signs of bias. First, there's absolutely no comment from, and no mention of the Jim Webb campaign, even as his blogging staffers spread the racist rumors. Second, Salon.com is mentioned without any description of its ideology or history: "Salon.com is an Internet magazine of news and opinion." In the Clinton years, Salon.com often published information the Clinton White House employed against conservatives, such as revealing an old extramarital affair by conservative Republican Henry Hyde. Salon's publisher declared that "these are ugly times and they call for ugly measures."
On the Thursday, September 21, 2006, episode of his radio show, host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Thomas B. Edsall, who up until recently was a senior political reporter for the Washington Post. He had been with the paper for 25 years. Through precise and direct questioning by Hewitt, Edsall admitted something that is rarely heard from a liberal these days. In a shocking admission, Edsall articulated that the biases of the mainstream media are "overwhelmingly to the left." He also proposed that Democratic reporters outnumber Republicans "in the range of 15-25 to 1"!
In the interview, as Hewitt and Edsall discussed the rise of conservative talk radio and the biases of the mainstream media, Edsall stated the following:
EDSALL: ... I agree that whatever you want to call it, mainstream media, presents itself as unbiased, when in fact, there are built into it many biases, and they are overwhelmingly to the left.
The warring camps of Fox News and Team Clinton spoke out in the Washington Post on Monday morning. Howard Kurtz reported:
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said that he was stunned when Bill Clinton accused him of a "conservative hit job" after he challenged the former president on his record in fighting terrorism.
"I thought it was a fair, balanced and not especially inflammatory question," Wallace said yesterday in recounting his "Fox News Sunday" sit-down with Clinton. "I even said, 'I know hindsight is 20/20.' But he went off. And once he went off, there was no bringing him back. He wanted to talk about it in detail. He wanted to conjure up right-wingers and conservative hit jobs and a theory involving Rupert Murdoch that I still don't understand."
Liberal press critics are quite the paradox. Most such writers like Eric Alterman, Michael Wolffe, and Michael Massing, are pretty sophisticated about the media in non-political matters, but when it comes to politics, they can't help repeating a slightly toned down version of rhetoric you'll find over at the Daily Kos. They deny the press is tilted toward the left (ignoring scores of content studies and surveys of reporters) and yet they cheer when the media chooses to favor the left, as if that's the media's natural role. Which it is, of course--if you're a liberal
This line of thought is far too common among left-wing media critics. In an interview with the Huffington Post, writer Michael Massing provided a textbook example of it, arguing that the press has properly began pushing back against the Bush Administration while also saying that conservative critics are fundamentally wrong in their opinion of the media:
My working hypothesis on all this, which I have mentioned in some of
those articles, is that the more powerful the President, the more timid
the press. There's an inverse relationship between the popularity of
the President and the willingness of the press to challenge him. And
right now, Bush's popularity is very low. I think we're seeing the
press pushing back in a very strong way. If I were writing an article
today about what's been happening, I would say more about how the press
has been pushing back. And I think there's a big appetite for this
among readers. The Bush administration is so beleaguered and has done
so many things that have upset the public that the press sees an
opening and has been moving to take advantage of it.
Today's the last full day of astronomical summer, and so in a sidebar on the Metro page of the September 22 Washington Post, the paper gives its readers a few handy stats about the weather this meteorological summer (June 1-August 31).
[Meteorological summer is a convention commonly used to examine data that provides consistency from year to year rather than adhering to the slightly different dates for seasonal changes on the solstices and equinoxes.]
Anyway, in D.C. at least, it was only the 19th warmest on record, as recorded since 1871. What's more, the average temperature in summer was 78.5 degrees. Toasty, but not exactly scalding, except for the late July-early August heat wave, where 101 was the hottest temperature achieved in Washington on August 3.
Of course, it's the spikes in temperature, the heat waves, that the media latched on to to in order to mount the soap box on global warming.
It’s surprising that this column by the Washington Post’s David Broder on Thursday fell so far below the fold. After all, Broder had unkind things to say about virtually everybody that would have pleased and enraged both Democrats and Republicans alike. For instance, Broder didn’t have nice things to say about President Bush:
The country thought Bush was a pleasant, down-to-earth guy who would not rock the boat. Instead, swayed by some inner impulse or the influence of Dick Cheney, he has proved to be lawless and reckless. He started a war he cannot finish, drove the government into debt and repeatedly defied the Constitution.
Don’t mince words, David. Tell us what you really think. Fortunately, Broder’s attack wasn’t just on Bush:
Here's a few tidbits from the Style section of Friday's Washington Post. Paul Farhi reports that NPR has a new CEO. It's executive vice president Ken Stern, who will replace Kevin Klose on October 1. Only at the end of the short article are we told Stern "was deputy general counsel for President Clinton's 1996 reelection campaign." Stern's official NPR bio also notes he was "chief counsel for the 53rd Presidential Inaugural Committee," Clinton's second inauguration.
Book reviewer Carolyn See has taken a strong liking to Arianna Huffington. She even claimed sexism was responsible for people disliking her: "She's that social climber with the funny accent who married some rich Republican who tried to buy a Senate seat. When that failed, they separated, and she switched political sides. Then she gave many Gatsby-style parties, invited everyone, got a newspaper column and set up a blog called the Huffington Post. Groan. People don't care much for women who think, and it's not only men who get creeped out: If a woman like that disagrees with you -- and has the nerve to say so out loud -- it's more than possible that she may be right." See is wrong.
The New York Times and Washington Post are now attacking provisions of a defense appropriations bill that would ensure that military chaplains can pray in accordance with their own personal beliefs (i.e., pray in the name of Jesus). A Times editorial calls the bill “an attempt to license zealot chaplains to violate policies of religious tolerance.”
A Washington Post article goes a step farther – calling for calling for a “no prayer” policy at public events, according to an article in CNSNews.com, saying the “best resolution” (to its perceived problem) is to “discourage prayer…as inherently and unnecessarily divisive.”
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has released its list of media and elected “elitists” who are doing the most to prevent passage of meaningful immigration reform. This “motley crew” of media organizations that promote “unfettered immigration” and are completely out of touch with public opinion include (who else?) the New York Times and the Washington Post…and, even the Wall Street Journal.
There is “no other domestic issue where there is this gap between the elite and public opinion,” CIS Director of Communications John Keeley told CNSNews.com in an interview discussing CIS’s list of open border elitists.