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.
Over at The Corner, Andy McCarthy goes on the warpath against Rajiv Chandasekaran (who later appeared on MSNBC's Hardball), the Washington Post's Baghdad Bureau Chief, in particular a Page One excerpt on Sunday from his anti-war book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" dealing with Simone Ledeen, the daughter of Michael Ledeen of AEI and National Review:
Chandrasekaran writes: “The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator … [was] tapped to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget, even though [she] didn't have a background in accounting.”
This is just disgraceful.
Simone did not manage any budget in Iraq. She executed the budget, which was actually managed by her superiors. Moreover, Simone was highly qualified to do this work. She had an extensive background in accounting, including a master's degree in business administration.
The online chat sessions with Washington Post reporters Monday at washingtonpost.com had a few revealing answers. In the daily politics chat, reporter Shailagh Murray seemed to disappoint the Post's natural audience by suggesting Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold was too liberal to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008. This spurred Murray to turn around and find today's GOP is way beyond Ronald Reagan's conservatism:
Ames, ia: Re: Feingold. You may be right, but I recall when Ronald Reagan was universally considered "too conservative."
Shailagh Murray: That just shows you how polarized politics has become. Reagan would practically be a moderate today.
Often, the warmth of media memories toward a politician hinge on where they stood, or where they ended up standing. In Monday's Washington Post, TV critic Tom Shales reviewed the HBO debut of the documentary "Goldwater on Goldwater," made by C.C. Goldwater, the granddaughter of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, loaded with liberal experts who lauded his resistance to the religious right. Shales sermonized:
Goldwater, who died in 1998, was the man who defined conservatism for more than one generation and who essentially split with the conservative movement when it became allied with pseudo-religious extremists. To Goldwater, the essence of conservatism was that government should stay out of people's lives as much as possible, and he was "appalled," his granddaughter says, by the "social agenda" of the far-right-wingers who seek to control the Republican Party now.
Blame it on talk radio. That is what Washington Post reporter Michelle Boorstein accepts as the reason for an increase in the harassment of Muslims in the U.S. It has nothing to do with terrorist attacks or threats of violence against those like the Pope who dare question any aspect of Islam.
In a media ranking of all those who are capable of committing a sin, talk radio hosts are near the top, while Muslims are close to the bottom, between baby lambs and blind orphans.
Complaints of anti-Muslim harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment registered with a national Muslim civil rights group jumped 30 percent in 2005 from the previous year, the group said today in releasing its annual report .
The 1,972 complaints made to the Council on American-Islamic Relations are the most the group has received since it began the annual reports following anti-Muslim incidents after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The group said it actually received 2,300 reports but deemed some of them illegitimate.
With the gun control movement running for the hills nationwide,
opponents of the Second Amendment have taken comfort in the fact that many of America's largest cities remain solidly in the anti-gun camp. In such places, it's not uncommon
for local government officials to initiate so-called gun buyback
programs where police purchase weapons citizens bring in, no questions
Basically no one who studies firearms policy believes
these initiatives actually work to reduce crime or take guns away from
by the DOJ and even Harvard University have discounted the
effectiveness of buyback programs. Just a few months ago, the liberal
Boston Phoenix alternative newspaper ran an article
that contended they enable criminals to afford newer, more deadly
weapons. Most of the time, the bulk of residents selling their guns are
older, as are their firearms--not exactly the kind of people you'd see
engaging in armed robbery.
All of this information
can be easily found on the internet. Surely the District of Columbia,
which hosted a buyback program over the weekend, was aware of it. One
would hope that at least one person at the Associated Press or the Washington Post
knew that gun buyback programs don't work, or that they'd at least have
the journalistic inclination to look into how effective such
initiatives are. But hard-hitting, thoughtful local reporting isn't
exactly in high supply in America's newspapers today, to say nothing of
research critical of liberal shibboleths.
While the national media begin to revisit the "corruption" issue -- largely as a Republican problem, as you can see from Monday's front page Washington Post story on GOP Sen. Conrad Burns -- it's important to remember where Democrats could have problems. Take appointed Sen. Bob Menendez, who's now the subject of a federal investigation for accepting $3,000-a-month rent from a group he's also sought to enrich with federal funding. NRO blogger Jim Geraghty reported:
So here outside Philly, we're getting New Jersey political ads, too, including one for Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, that features him in a courtroom. Oh, no, wait, it's not what you're thinking - he's not a defendant, he's touting his credentials fighting political corruption, not facilitating it.
The Washington Post puts the George Allen-Jim Webb debate on Sunday's "Meet the Press" on the front page Monday with the subhead: "Comments on Race, Gender Resurface in TV Appearance." But the Post account by Michael Shear and Tim Craig omitted Jim Webb's most stunning comments on race, at least for a Democratic candidate: he re-emphasized that he believes government quota programs ("affirmative action") are the equivalent of "state-sponsored racism" -- which isn't exactly friendly to the Democratic Party's minority-group activists.
In a 2000 Wall Street Journal book review praising black conservative Ward Connerly, Webb said that only blacks were the subject of historical discrimination in America, so broadening quotas to all minorities was as odious as Jim Crow racism. In a campaign in which the Post and other outlets have so pounded Allen's supposed racism in the "Macaca" comments, isn't this the kind of stand which Democrats would usually pound (wrongly) as racist?
Matthew Sheffield's item on Ben Cardin's staffer with the slurs is buried on Page C-6 of the Sunday Washington Post, described as a minor case of the blogger "stumbles." But George Allen's off-hand use of the word "Macaca" is on the front page again today, albeit in restrained form, not explicitly using the mysterious M-word. Michael Shear's article on the role of bloggers in the Virginia Senate contest began this way:
Virginia's U.S. Senate race has catapulted bloggers into the middle of electioneering and controversy as campaign supporters use their online forums to connect with voters, raise money and spread gossip. Liberal bloggers -- two of whom are on the payroll of Democratic challenger James Webb -- fanned the flames last month after Sen. George Allen aimed a derogatory remark at a young Webb volunteer. That hype has helped Webb close a double-digit Allen lead in public polls and was a blow to the Republican senator's possible presidential bid in 2008.
I wonder how much we'll be hearing of this news in the political press and how much Marylanders will from their MSM:
Rep. Benjamin Cardin has fired a campaign staffer who wrote racially
charged comments on an Internet blog against his opponent, Republican
Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is black, Cardin's campaign confirmed
The blog includes a reference to "Devouring the Competition" by eating
Oreo cookies, which Steele has said people threw at him during a 2002
debate as a slight directed at his race and political views.
In a statement, Cardin also condemned "anti-Semitic" comments written by the female staffer on her own Internet blog [formerly at persuasionatrix.blogspot.com].
One important fact left out of the AP report I quoted above is that the story was broken by our friends over at Wizbang. AP reporter Brian Witte's behavior in this instance is all too familiar. Blogs are often not given the proper credit they deserve for reporting, especially if they're conservative ones.
During today's Live Discussion at WashingtonPost.com, columnist David Broder took heat from liberal readers who asked him to explain why he said the press should apologize to Karl Rove for the stink it made over the non-issue of Valerie Plame.
It's remarkable how overwhelmingly liberal the questions are that make it to Broder's attention, but perhaps conservatives readers have given up on the Washington Post.
Washington, D.C.: Mr Broder, if you feel Karl Rove is owed an apology from the pundits and writers over Valerie Plame, did you also call for an apology to the Clintons after Ken Starr, the Whitewater investigation and the failed attempt to impeach President Clinton? If not, why not?
David S. Broder: As best, I can recall,I did not call for such an apology. My view, for whatever it is worth long after the dust has settled on Monica, was that when President Clinton admitted he had lied to his Cabinet and his closest assoc, to say nothing of the public, that the honorable thing was for him to have resigned and turned over the office to Vice President Gore. I think history would have been very different had he done that.
Reporter Alan Cooperman played up Pennsylvania Democrat Bobby Casey's speech at Catholic University in Friday's Washington Post as part of an exciting new trend of Democrats speaking out on religion. (Casey is seeking to unseat Sen. Rick Santorum, who is loved -- and hated -- for his passionate faith-based politics.) His other example of the religious outreach trend was the media's Tiger Beat fanzine idol, Sen. Barack Obama.
Cooperman passes several obvious tests for a balanced article. He includes conservatives and liberals in it, and labels each side. He lets the conservatives underline that Bobby has some positions that please the libertine left, including making Plan B abortifacients available to everyone, including teenagers, and backs "civil unions for same-sex couples." That's a fancy way of saying "gay marriage." But what about the ending?
When the Washington Post first opened its big can of "macaca" on Sen. George Allen, the story was presented as if it wasn’t an opposition-research ploy from the Democratic campaign of Jim Webb. The headline was "Allen Quip Provokes Outrage, Apology." But on Thursday, when the Allen campaign revealed a whopper on Webb, the Post headline was "Va. Senate Race Goes Negative on 1979 Essay." Both articles were written by Michael Shear and Tim Craig. Thursday’s story opened:
Virginia's U.S. Senate race turned nasty Wednesday as Republican Sen. George Allen launched a character attack on his Democratic opponent's past views toward women in combat, signaling the start of a two-month barrage of negative campaigning in what has become a close race.
If you look hard, you can see the Democratic optimism about the fall elections fading, off the front pages of the newspapers. On the bottom of the front page of a separate "Campaign 2006" section of The Washington Post today (they call it page A23), you can read the account by Jim VandeHei and Chris Cillizza about Democrats getting worried about superior GOP turnout programs. (I can't guarantee you won't be sickened by the GOP establishment siding aggressively against the conservative in this race.)
Raymond Hernandez reported in the New York Times that giddy Democratic optimism about wresting four or five House seats from the GOP in New York state is fading fast...
The man nobody at the Washington Post can really classify, the reporter/columnist Dana Milbank, has his page 2 "Washington Sketch" column Wednesday on the hot Democratic anger topic: "The arrival of Treason Season, heralded by the charged address President Bush gave on Monday's 9/11 anniversary, is right on schedule."
The liberal Democrat-media complex was abuzz yesterday about the Republicans charging the Democrats with being solicitous of terrorists. This, to anyone who's read the Rich Noyes Special Report, is obvious: Democrats and their media pals have appeared much more concerned about protecting the procedural liberties of terror suspects than they are with protecting the American people from another successful terror plot. Think specifically of the NSA's surveillance of phone calls to suspected al-Qaeda contacts. Milbank explained what so offended the Dems:
Washington Post "staff writer" Sally Quinn -- better known as the wife of the retired longtime WashPost Executive Editor Ben Bradlee -- lamented on the front of Tuesday's Style section that Katie Couric is battling sexism in the media culture: "The buzz about Katie Couric has an oddly familiar ring to me. And to Barbara Walters, Connie Chung, Lynn Sherr and Judy Woodruff -- all of us women who have sat in a news anchor chair." It doesn't seem to matter that Couric makes more money and drew way more promotion from the CBS brass. She's still oppressed somehow.
What followed was a chorus of laments from these pioneering TV news women that nothing has changed in 30 years. Some of these laments suffer when compared to the facts. For example, Quinn wrote:
The Washington Post has found an evangelical Christian it likes. Conveniently enough he's not a fan of the Christian right. Here are some nuggets from staff writer Caryle Murphy's September 10 profile of a "progressive" pillar of the "emerging church" movement, Brian D. McLaren.:
“When we present Jesus as a pro-war, anti-poor, anti-homosexual, anti-environment, pro-nuclear weapons authority figure draped in an American flag, I think we are making a travesty of the portrait of Jesus we find in the gospels," McLaren said in a recent interview.
In Sunday's Washington Post Magazine, on the back page of an issue with a cover story devoted to solemn memorials of 9/11, Gene Weingarten's "Below the Beltway" humor column lived up to its cheeky title with a column comparing George W. Bush to Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Warren Harding. The headline was: "The Bush League: How low can he go?" Weingarten, a former editor of the Post's Sunday Style section, clearly had fun with this column, which began with a dash of whimsey mixed with venom:
We in the media are sometimes accused of letting liberal bias subtly slip into our writing and reporting. That accusation is calumny. We are dispassionate observers and seekers of truth. All we do is ask questions. Today's question: Is George W. Bush the worst president in American history?
The Washington Post has a way of celebrating anniversaries in an odd way -- say, highlighting an anti-war activist on Memorial Day. Friday's Washington Post, just days shy of the fifth anniversary of 9-11, devoted a long lead article in the Style section to the idea that the Bush administration was behind the almost 3,000 deaths on 9/11. That's a horrendous concept to entertain. But reporter Michael Powell not only found it entertaining. He praised the reasonableness of its proponents.
Notice how he pays tribute to one liberal expert:
It was a year before David Ray Griffin, an eminent liberal theologian and philosopher, began his stroll down the path of disbelief... "To me, the report read as a cartoon." White-haired and courtly, Griffin sits on a couch in a hotel lobby in Manhattan, unspooling words in that reasonable Presbyterian minister's voice. "It's a much greater stretch to accept the official conspiracy story than to consider the alternatives."
Attendance at Thursday's pro-illegal alien rally fell way below even the latest low-balling protest organizer estimates. In Friday's Washington Post, reporters Darryl Fears and N.C. Aizenman estimated that "fewer than 5,000" attended the festivities yesterday. The first paragraph was a stunner:
A pro-immigration rally that promised to bring tens of thousands of marchers from across the nation to Washington yesterday managed to draw only a paltry number of demonstrators, raising questions about the movement's tactics and staying power.
Top officials of the Clinton administration have launched a preemptive strike against an ABC-TV "docudrama," slated to air Sunday and Monday, that they say includes made-up scenes depicting them as undermining attempts to kill Osama bin Laden.
Former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright called one scene involving her "false and defamatory." Former national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger said the film "flagrantly misrepresents my personal actions."
Early reports on Thursday's planned Washington march for amnesty for illegal aliens said a million protesters were expected. At the top of the Metro section of Thursday's Washington Post, we learn lowering expectations is under way -- well, not at the top of the story, but in paragraph eighteen: "Organizers initially predicted a turnout of 1 million, but they now are projecting a crowd similar to the one at a rally on the National Mall on April 10. A police official estimated that the demonstration drew at least 100,000 people; organizers pegged attendance about 500,000."
The story's headline is "Rally May Gauge Future of Immigration Movement." The headline inside Metro after the jump is "Non-Latinos Taped To Bring New Energy And Serve As Allies." Neither headline says "Protest Leader Estimates of Attendance Collapsing." Despite the note of disappointing turnout, the Post is still giving prominent pre-protest publicity to what they call the "immigrant rights" movement, as reporters Darryl Fears and Karin Brulliard began the Thursday story:
With the 'macaca' controversy growing painfully ancient by the day, Washington Post staff writer Tim Craig found a new liberal talking point to further against Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) in his September 6 Metro section article, "Entertainment Industry Donates to Allen's Bid."
My home-delivered Maryland Edition of the paper ran the story without any 'macaca' references on page B5, but Nexis shows the paper's Final Edition ran the story on B1 with two references to 'macaca' in the article.
According to Nexis, the headline for that run of the article was "Music, TV Industry Donates to Allen; Senator Has Faulted Webb's Ties to Field." I noticed it was the 11th story filed or co-written by Craig to mention the 'macaca' flap.
Washington Post reporter Petula Dvorak (controversial chronicler of supposed rookie protesters) wrote up the beginning of hard-left protests dubbed "Camp Democracy" on Page A-5 Wednesday, even though Dvorak estimated the crowd at only "about 100" military family members and "peace activists." Perhaps the hype comes from its affiliation with Cindy Sheehan’s "Camp Casey" protests against Bush, but Sheehan was not present yesterday. The headline was "Antiwar Message Travels From Texas to Washington." (The story and accompanying photo also topped the Post home page on Tuesday night.)
CNSNews.com reporter Nathan Burchfiel also observed the protests yesterday, and found nowhere near 100 protesters there: "A few dozen anti-war activists faced light rain in Washington, D.C., Tuesday as they gathered to kick off a 17-day protest of the war in Iraq and other Bush administration policies...The opening ceremonies drew fewer than 50 protesters, who gathered under one of five large tents erected to protect a crowd of hundreds from the rain, which is forecast to continue for the first three days of the event."
The Washington Post continued on Wednesday its pattern of defining the news in the U.S. Senate race in Virginia as what the Democrats want the news to be. Reporter Tim Craig notes that a "nonpartisan" analysis shows Sen. George Allen has more "Hollywood" cash than his Democratic opponent:
U.S. Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) is a leading recipient of entertainment-related campaign contributions to members of Congress, a nonpartisan analysis released yesterday shows, even as the senator has been criticizing his Democratic opponent's ties to Hollywood...
The Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit research group, said that Allen ranks 16th among members of Congress in campaign contributions received from the entertainment industry during the past two years. Allen has accepted $93,350 since 2004; Webb, $20,650, according to the center.
As part of a continuing series of book reviews on The Washington Post's "Federal Page," Post reporter Jonathan Weisman reviewed a new book Tuesday by former Clinton aides Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed, headlined "A Political Blueprint With Room to Build On." Predictably, Weisman found it not boldly liberal enough -- even if he doesn't describe it exactly that way. But he found a new way of dividing conservatives and liberals. Conservatives do "not believe in government intervention," while liberals are those "those who agree that government is a necessary part of society."
Maybe it's not a good idea to let your "objective" reporters state their general agreement with Democratic Party manifestoes, but the Washington Post doesn't see the danger. Weisman gently chides the Clintonistas for calling the massive new prescription-drug subsidy for seniors hack work, suggesting it's not generous enough and doesn't let the government manipulate drug prices: "true enough," Weisman suggested, but:
Friday’s Washington Post reported that the NAACP has been cleared by the IRS of charges of violating its tax-exempt status with overt partisan advocacy. Reporter Darryl Fears never described the NAACP as a liberal group, instead using a very typical formulation, that they were "the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization." Fears repeatedly watered down the fiery rhetoric of NAACP speeches, as well as the 2000 commercial where the daughter of dragging-death victim James Byrd claimed then-Gov. George Bush seemed like he was killing her father all over again.
Technically, if we’re not merely defining "civil rights" as the liberal black agenda, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization is the National Rifle Association, fighting for the civil right to bear arms. It’s older and larger than the NAACP.