A friend e-mailed me that Mark Ambinder at The Hotline (formerly of the ABC News Political Unit) has his own analysis of the WashPost "macaca" mania -- Allen's campaign has upset the Post:
The death-knell for Republican candidates in Northern Virginia has been the active hostility of the Washington Post. Usually, a GOP candidate can neutralize the problem by neutralizing the Post -- not alienating the beat reporters and keeping the editorial page from beating the snare drum.
Two signs today that the Allen campaign has seriously angered the Post. First, there's the A1 placement of a story that is arguably interesting and compelling but not earthshatteringly newsy. Within the story, there's a hint that Allen's campaign manager, Dick Wadhams zoinked off the reporter who called him.
A Washington Post Editorial addressing a recent gaffe by Virginia Senator George Allen, actually mis-characterizes the incident. The line "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia" had nothing to do with anyone's race, or presumed country of origin. It followed directly on the heels of Allen lambasting opponent Webb for being off with the Hollywood elite. It was that contrast Allen was attempting to draw as you can see here.
The idea that holding up minorities to public scorn in front of an all-white crowd will elicit chortles and guffaws? (It did.) The idea that a candidate for public office can say "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia!" to an American of Indian descent and really mean nothing offensive by it?
In early July, Sen. Joe Biden joked before a C-SPAN camera that “you cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts of a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent.” Conservatives had a little fun with it, but said: a harmless slip, but if a Republican ever did it, the media would have a much different standard. That day is now. Sen. George Allen mocked an Indian-American Democratic volunteer as a "macaca," and the Post played it up on the front page, along with a very tendentious staff editorial to boot insisting Allen's racial "bullying" was beyond "the bounds of decency." Washington Post coverage of Biden? None. Not in the paper.
The Washington Post might like to be known as rough and tough, skeptical and questioning, but when it comes to TV news stars, sometimes they sound like a publicist's best friend. Tuesday's big Style profile on Katie Couric is headlined "Up Close and Too Personal: Katie Couric, Center of Attention, Says She Just Wants to Do Her Job." For an article on how Katie is overscrutinized, it's funny how nowhere in the article did media reporter Howard Kurtz ever question whether she's fair and balanced in her journalism. It began with syrup:
She is already the most heavily scrutinized, psychoanalyzed and gossiped-about anchor in network history, and she hasn't yet uttered a single "good evening" on a CBS newscast.
The Washington Post continues to display enthusiasm to wring the last drop out of Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic drunken rant at a cop in Malibu. But the headline over the story on the front of today's Style section is misleading: "Evangelical Clergy on Mel Gibson: Judging Not." A reader might think evangelicals excused Gibson's rant. The story which follows by religion specialist Alan Cooperman makes it very clear from the beginning that the evangelical leaders all denounced his outburst to police, but none of them had re-evaluated whether there was anti-Semitism in his movie "The Passion of the Christ." (A listing of most popular articles on washingtonpost.com suggests it used to have a more accurate headline: "Evangelicals Hate Gibson's Sin But Love His 'Passion'.")
On August 11, a state judge struck down an early voter law passed by the liberal Democratic legislature over Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich's veto. In his August 12 story covering the decision, Washington Post staff writer Matthew Mosk relayed fiery, class warfare-centered talking points from liberal Democrats incensed at the ruling.
Yet Mosk curiously omitted an early voting option that costs Marylanders $0.78 (two first-class postage stamps): an absentee ballot.
"Sheet metal workers and crane operators and people who have to leave
the house at 5 in the morning to get to their jobs at the Pentagon,
they're the ones who are helped by this," Senate President Thomas V.
Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said earlier this year.
It's fascinating how fast the roles have switched in the DNC Media's take on Ned Lamont. Today's front page in the WashPost printed the headline "Democratic Leadership Welcomes Lamont." Next to that, a promotional headline: "Will Lieberman Hurt or Help Democrats?" They're not asking whether Lamont as a Democratic poster boy will hurt or help Democrats. Overnight, Lieberman has gone from party stalwart to independent pariah in the wilderness. You might expect the Democrats to switch horses like they're changing socks like party politicians. But it ought to be more surprising that the "objective, mainstream media" follows suit (or sock) so slavishly.
The front-page article by Shailagh Murray and Dan Balz began typically by using "antiwar" as a stalking-horse adjective for liberal: "Democratic leaders embraced their new antiwar Senate nominee Ned Lamont on Wednesday, but his defeated rival, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) vowed to wage an independent crusade to save his seat and prevent the party from being captured by forces he said are out of the political mainstream."
Major General Bill McCoy is in charge of reconstruction efforts in Iraq. He allowed a Washington Post reporter to join him for a few days, time which he says did not change the negative perception the reporter had coming in.
I am submitting this as a Letter to the Editor based on the terrible, and largely inaccurate, article I read by Andy Mosher. He knows there is a good side to the story of Reconstruction in Iraq; he saw it! Yet he chose to write a negative story based on old SIGIR findings. Why? Don't you want the American people to know the truth?
Why Won’t They Tell You the Truth?
After spending almost three days traveling with and being interviewed by one of the co-writers of a very poorly written article (“Much Undone in Rebuilding Iraq, Audit says”, Washington Post, August 2, 2006), I’m astounded at how distorted a good story can become and what agenda drives a paper to see only the bad side to the reconstruction effort here in Iraq. Instead of distorting the facts, let’s get to the truth.
The following certainly qualifies as one of the most absurd statements that I’ve heard from a member of the media lately, and as someone that often spends 18 hours a day watching and reading press reports, that’s saying something (hat tip to Hot Air with video available here).
On Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” on CNN, the Washington Post’s Thomas Ricks actually stated with a straight face that Israel is intentionally not destroying all of Hezbollah’s rockets so that some can continue to rain down on Israel killing innocent civilians. This, in Ricks’ view, “helps you with the moral high ground problem, because you know your operations in Lebanon are going to be killing civilians as well.” I kid you not.
Host Howard Kurtz was rather shocked by Ricks’ assertion, and responded almost incredulously:
The ratings for the fledgling Washington Post Radio are not impressive, so this may not mean much, but when Bob Kur interviewed Post media reporter Howard Kurtz today for about ten minutes at 6:20 pm, neither man said a word about the Reuters photo fiasco. The primary topic was the Lieberman-Lamont race (where at least Kurtz mentioned the Hamsher blackface incident). Isn't he the media reporter, not a political reporter? The second topic was a Sunday story on Prince George's County Chairman Jack Johnson, as Kurtz remembered how he worked in the olden days in the paper's PG County bureau in Upper Marlboro.
Up after Howard Kurtz was Larry King, whose CNN show will now be simulcast live on Washington Post Radio. Reuters didn't come up there either, as Kur was regaling the audience with how he used to meet Larry in the supermarket in McLean. Is it really such a mystery why the ratings aren't impressive yet?
In merely the latest in a string of Washington Post stories lamenting how Virginia is somehow chasing gay people out of the state by preserving traditional marriage at the ballot box, reporter Kirstin Downey revealed her quite partisan way of assembling evidence to prove her repetitive liberal thesis:
State Del. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria), who is gay, circulated a Washington Post inquiry seeking people willing to be interviewed on the record about their decisions to move out of Virginia. Two dozen responded; 10 others said they were waiting for the November elections to decide.
The headline of the story is "Feeling Unwelcome, Some Gays Vacate Virginia: November Ballot Ban Helps Fuel Migration." The whole story is told sympathetically from the gay-left point of view, as almost a nudge to encourage gays to escape Virginia. It begins with Edel Quinones of Arlington, and the idea that Arlington is a bastion of Christian conservatism is a knee-slapper. Didn't the Post just get finished highlighting Arlington's gay legislator/athlete?
Something doesn't quite seem right with this glowing interview the Washington Post conducted with environmental activist Dr. Lara Hansen of the World Wildlife Fund.
Dr. Hansen is quoted saying, "When I was 5 or 6, my father read me an article in Science magazine about ozone depletion, which is what causes increased ultraviolet radiation..."
Here's a link to Science. Look at it and tell me a 5-or 6-year-old could understand it.
I'm the mom of three six-year-olds, and not a one of them reads articles in Science about ultraviolet radiation. Lest it be said that my kids are simply below-average, allow me to note that I frequently am with other six-year-olds, and none of them have ever once mentioned Science magazine, radiation, ozone depletion or even Al Gore's movie.
I venture to say I'm not alone in thinking that the new "Bold moves" series of car ads by Ford Motor Company quickly replaced the Dodge ones with the HEMI-obsessed schlub as the dumbest auto ads on the tube lately.
But that's not deep enough for The Washington Post's David Montgomery. He sees one particular ad as a window to America's psyche on immigration of all things. Here's how he opened his story.
So this hunky, swarthy, full-lipped guy in a white cowboy hat is
tooling down a country road in a red pickup truck. He comes upon a big
tree fallen across both lanes. No problem. He off-roads around the
obstacle and cruises on.
It's time for today's game of see how long it takes The Washington Post to acknowledge the wild-eyed liberals (filled with "Nedrenaline") behind Ned Lamont's crusade to turn out Sen. Joe Lieberman. Instead, the MoveOn crowd are merely "grassroots Internet activists" who are "anti-war." The headline of Dan Balz's front-pager is: "Conn. Race Could Be Democratic Watershed: Loss by Lieberman May Embolden Critics of War." The story dumps off the front-page before the first L-word is deployed, 371 words in:
The passion and energy fueling the antiwar challenge to Sen. Joseph Lieberman in Connecticut's Senate primary signal a power shift inside the Democratic Party that could reshape the politics of national security and dramatically alter the battle for the party's 2008 presidential nomination, according to strategists in both political parties.
'Wishin' and hopin' and 'Thinkin' and prayin', 'Plannin' and dreamin' 'Each night of his charms, 'That won't get you into his arms.' - Dusty Springfield, 'Wishing & Hoping'
If E.J. Dionne's wishes were horses, Democrats would ride them to the White House. In his WaPo column of today, The End Of the Right?, the liberal pundit foresees the fall of conservatism. The immediate springboard for his prediction was yesterday's failed vote for an increase in the minimum wage. According to Dionne:
"The most obvious, outrageous and unprincipled [conservative] spasm occurred last night when the Senate voted on a bill that would have simultaneously raised the minimum wage and slashed taxes on inherited wealth.
As the world watches events unfold in the Middle East from the comfort of their living rooms, evidence is mounting that Hezbollah is using the media in a fashion that would make Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels extremely proud. Such an assertion has far reaching implications to be sure, as it points an accusatory finger at the behavior of the American press as well.
Supporting this contention is a paper written in 1948 by Yale psychology professor Leonard W. Doob entitled “Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda.” In it, Doob enunciated the famed Nazi’s nineteen-point plan for the effective use of the media to advance Germany’s goals.
Fifty-eight years later, a Haaretz article published Thursday outlined the power of the Hezbollah propaganda machine. So coordinated are these efforts that it is easy to imagine the terrorist organization using Goebbels’ principles as a virtual playbook while it molds events and news reports to impact international opinion. The article began:
Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin puts the pedal to the metal in her Friday story, "More Frequent Heat Waves Linked to Global Warming." We're told "scientists who have studied decades of weather records and computer models" are connecting the heat to Al Gore's favorite bogeyman.
Eilperin lines up all the studies promoted by global-warming salesmen, and the skeptics aren't granted an appearance until the end, in paragraph 18: "Some climate experts and industry lobbyists, however, question the correlation between global warming and heat waves."
But here's one place where I just start to choke on the panicked claims.
Since July, 179 Americans, most of them Californians, have died in the current heat wave; more than 52,000 died during the 2003 episode in Europe, where air conditioning is less common.
The Washington Post is editorializing today against the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which held hearings twice in July on questions surrounding the "hockey stick" temperature studies.
Says the Post: "Instead of concentrating on the changing climate, the House Energy Committee picks on climatologists."
Whoever wrote the Post editorial seems to be genuinely unfamiliar with the hearings held, their purpose and what they revealed. It was irresponsible of the Post to publish something like this editorial without researching the matter a little bit first.
David Segal of the Washington Post profiled Ned Lamont and his hard-left crusade against Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Style section Wednesday. (It might seem a little weird since Segal is usually a rock-and-pop critic, but he used to work at The Washington Monthly.) Segal avoids the liberal and left-wing labels most of the time --and certainly the ultra labels his backers deserve. The headline is "True Blue or Too Blue?" But this sentence is the laugh-out-loud one, trying to nudge Lamont's image to the right by writing up his website position paragraphs:
"They are the views of a fiscal conservative, a social liberal and a foreign-policy moderate. He is a few degrees to the right, generally speaking, of the bloggers who have championed him."
If an active member of the Marine Corps sued a sitting United States Congressman for defamation, do you think this would be front-page news?
Well, if the Congressman in question happens to be an anti-war media darling, the answer would clearly be “No.”
Such was the case Wednesday when the Washington Post decided to put the story about Marine Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich’s lawsuit against Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) concerning events in Haditha, Iraq, on page A5:
When the Washington Post tries to condemn other newspapers as tabloid journalists, there’s always today’s paper for rebuttal. Reporter Anthony Shadid’s front-page story on the deaths of women and children at Qana carried this emotionally manipulative headline, quoting Khalil Burji, a man watching recovery efforts, after the jump on page A8, all across the page:
‘The Child Who Choked to Death, What Was His Sin?’
Sunday's Book World section in the Washington Post features a review by Brookings Institution fellow Daniel Byman of the new book by Post reporter Thomas Ricks, titled Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq. The review is headlined "The March of Folly: A damning new book by a Post Pentagon reporter shows how Iraq fell into chaos." Byman seemed to be writing to get himself into the dust-cover hoorah blurbs:
In his compelling and well-researched book, Thomas E. Ricks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post, painfully but clearly reveals an important truth about the Iraq debacle: It has a thousand fathers.
Social liberalism goes on parade in several articles in the Sunday WashPost. In Metro, religion reporter Michelle Boorstein focuses on plans to "ordain" Catholic "womenpriests" in Pittsburgh, including local woman Bridget Mary Meehan. The headline is "Reclaiming the Female Spirit in the Priesthood." Boorstein's article does offer some balancing comments from conservative Catholic bloggers, but it's sad that Boorstein stoops to publishing Nazi comparisons to end the piece. Patricia Fresen, who will preside over the fake ordinations, said she grew up in apartheid-era South Africa, and "If you think of Nazi times, people said they just did what they were told. If you can't get it changed, you must break it."
Bill O'Reilly's down to his last strike. As noted here, on his radio and TV shows yesterday, Bill propounded the theory that the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in the current Middle East conflict for fear of alienating their liberal Jewish readers. As Bill put it, liberal Jews "are all the papers have left" when it comes to significant market niches.
While Bill singled out the NY Times as the paper most loath to offend its liberal Jewish readers, he also mentioned the Boston Globe by name on his radio show. As discussed here, the NY Times came out this morning guns ablazin', so to speak, for an immediate cease-fire.
Turns out the Boston Globe has done the same thing. Excerpts from its editorial of today, While Lebanon Burns:
Bill O'Reilly got his show off to a surprising start this afternoon, with a novel theory as to why the big-city newspapers have tread lightly in criticizing Israel for its role in the current conflict. During his opening monologue O'Reilly theorized that the papers are fearful of turning off liberal Jewish readers.
As per Bill's hypothesis, papers such as the NY and LA Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post have been taking big hits in readership and profitability. With Fox News Channel's ED Hill in the studio, O'Reilly continued: "liberal Jewish readers are all [those newspapers] have left" as a significant market segment. If the papers were to be too critical of Israel, it could alienate their last remaining readership niche.
The Washington Post's Jeff Birnbaum devoted his K Street Confidential column today to liberal Senator Ron Wyden's (D-Ore.) call for a "FairFlat" tax. Birnbaum failed to tell his readers that Wyden's soak-the-rich plan for "reform" co-opts language from two conservative schools of thought on tax reform: the flat tax championed by Steve Forbes and the national sales "Fair Tax" advocated by Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.).
But as the MRC's Business & Media Institute director Dan Gainor also noticed, the Fox News contributor missed Wyden's unfortunate allusion to an infamous Marxist class warrior.
One of the central tenants of professional journalism is the notion that reporters remain objective in their analysis and reporting. Generally, it is the responsibility of a newspaper’s management to ensure that individuals who express a desire to maintain emotional and psychological distance from stories they cover are employed to report news under the title of a “journalist.” If the writer is an opinion writer, this is known as a “pundit.”
That stated, the Washington Posthosted an online “Live from Syria” chat session this past Monday on their website. The forum was conducted by a Syrian writer named Sami Moubayed. The Posts’ description of the writer is “PostGlobal Panelist/Syrian Political Analyst, Journalist and Author.” Flipping to the writer’s website and reading the “About” section, however, shows that Mr. Moubayed has some conflicts of interest when it comes to covering the Lebanon-Israel conflict. From Moubayeb’s profile:
A story in The Washington Post yesterday contained some survey data that bolster an argument the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute (BMI) has made for years now: the media's negativism on the economy has a strong influence on the public:
The paper sponsored “a survey-based experiment”
of “more than 2,500 online respondents” who were “shown a brief news
clip before being asked to reply to a series of questions.” The views
of respondents on their personal economic well-being were wildly
different between survey-takers shown a story on gas prices and
respondents shown a story on job growth.