(UPDATE: See Chad's response to Washington Post's Sarah Kliff at the end of this post.) If what Reason's Peter Suderman is reporting is correct — and he certainly appears to have done the kind of digging you would expect conscientious journalists to do — the establishment press's lionization of Chad Henderson the Fantabulous Obamacare Enrollee is about to fall apart.
Suderman spoke at length with Chad Henderson's father, Bill Henderson, and uncovered a litany of contradictions, inconsistencies, and what should have been red flags to journalists who apparently decided that the story was too good to check (links are in original; bolds are mine):
The Washington Post kept up its crusade to attack Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli in Thursday’s paper. In a story covering a debate between the two candidates vying to succeed Cuccinelli as attorney general, reporters Frederick Kunkle and Michael Laris put only one candidate’s quote on the front page: the Democrat attacking Cuccinelli as an extremist and abuser of power.
The Post offered Mark Herring’s outburst, and then waited until inside the paper for his quote to fall apart:
Monday’s Style section of the Washington Post is stuck on its Glorify Liberals setting. At the top it reads, “Forty years after founding the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman is unbending on aiding the youngest." The large headline below is “A soldier stands her ground.”
Edelman and CDF are holding a biggest Kennedy Center fundraising event honoring Hillary Clinton, although that information is buried in the middle. Post reporter-glorifier Krissah Thompson is at it again, painting Edelman as the righteous advocate who scolds conservatives who apparently want to starve poor children:
The Washington Post said happy Sunday to Christians with an article titled “Five Myths About Jesus” by Muslim author Reza Aslan. First question: How likely is the Post to run a feature by Aslan or anyone else titled “Five Myths About Muhammad”? Or “Five Uncomfortable Truths About Muhammad”?
The second question is: Couldn’t the Post have published the article “Five Myths on Reza Aslan’s Resume?” The Post exposed his lies to a Fox News reporter. This Post favor to Aslan seems odd since almost two months ago, their Sunday book review by liberal Stephen Prothero panned his book “Zealot”:
While The Washington Post wrote about reporters revolving into the Obama administration, the more common pattern is reporters who flatter, pander, and powder the Obamas in the “news” pages. Krissah Thompson should be on Michelle Obama’s payroll. Splashed all over the front of Style today is this concept: “Rest up. You’re going to need extra energy to even read about all the places that the first lady has gone to get to know D.C.”
Following the all-caps headline “MICHELLE OBAMA’S WASHINGTON" and a huge graphic of eight images of Mrs. Obama in her many activities, the Post story went on for two entire pages. Thompson began the smoochy prose from the top:
Washington Post reporters Paul Farhi and Billy Kenber caused a morning cereal spew inside the Beltway. In a story about the revolving door between reporters and Team Obama, there was this unintentional laugh line from Jay Carney: “But I think any reading of my coverage as a reporter would show that I was not an ideologue. [Time columnist] Joe Klein said he thought I was a Republican” when Carney joined Biden’s staff.
See my dossier on how Carney found Hillary was “strangely mesmerizing" as “the polite but passionate American citizen,” or how Bill Clinton was “probably the best white politician out there speaking on race issues.” (That sounds exactly like Joe Klein.) The Posties quoted Rush Limbaugh decrying the obvious media-Obama mindmeld, then lamely tried to argue their way out of that reality:
After failing completely to offer one headline covering some liberal guy named Ralph Northam for most of 2013 -- he's the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia -- The Washington Post on Wednesday noticed "Northam targets Jackson's rhetoric." Because the Post wants absolutely every story on this campaign to be about Rev. E.W. Jackson's rhetoric. They put the ball on the tee and nudged Northam to cream it.
Reporters Michael Laris and Antonio Olivo announced “Northam cast his opponent as dangerously divisive and personally irresponsible -- someone who would hurt the state both economically and with his social values if elected. In his closing statement, Northam condemned Jackson's rhetoric.” Laris explained Jackson had a "national" reputation as a "flamethrower" of rhetoric:
Why are liberals in so much denial about liberal bias in the news? Why do they think they’re bending over backward to be “objective” doing that which Republicans see as partisan activism?
Daniel Froomkin of the Huffington Post – formerly of The Washington Post – suggests an answer. He is exactly the kind of liberal agitator in the newsroom who wants every news story to be a blazing editorial. Every reporter must divide the world clearly between Liberal Sense and Conservative Nonsense. His latest article is titled “Writing a Neutral Story About Something So Heartless As the Food Stamp Vote Is Not Good Journalism.”
If black Rev. E.W. Jackson was a liberal and his white opponent Ralph Northam was a conservative, The Washington Post would have to accuse itself of racism. In the Virginia campaign for lieutenant governor, Northam, a white liberal, is the beneficiary of obvious and massive discrimination. He hasn’t drawn a single headline from the Post since he won the primary in June. No one needs to know anything he's said or anything he's done. He's apparently perfect.
But once again on Tuesday, the Post took out a journo-hammer and hit Jackson the black conservative over the head. On the front page of the Metro section, the headline was “E.W. Jackson’s combative style to be put to test.” Post reporter Michael Laris relied on Democratic trackers (and they happily relied on him) to report that Jackson had said something allegedly outrageous from a minister -- that Christianity was true, and other religions were false:
The New York Times won this morning’s athletic effort to bury the story of Lois Lerner retiring over “gross mismangement” of the IRS tax-exempt organizations branch. At the very bottom of page A-14, in the second item under a “National Briefing” header, the Times ran a 77-word AP snippet, because who really cares when Tea Party groups are harassed by the Obama administration?
The 1379-word lead item in the National section explored “An Effort to Punish Posting of Nude Images After Breakups.” (First idea: don't send nude electronic images.) The caption under a large picture explained "Marianna Taschinger, 23, in Groves, Tex., is suing her ex-boyfriend and a Web site known for 'revenge porn' where nude photographs of her were posted." The other papers were competitive in burying this item:
Dare a top newspaper journalist to play connect-the-dots and chances are he’ll fail miserably – at least with drawing the line between Islam and terrorism. In Nairobi, Kenya last weekend, Islamist militants took over a high-end shopping mall and began executing non-Muslims. In Pakistan, Islamist suicide bombers detonated at a Christian Church on Sunday.
Yet on Monday, September 23, 90 percent of the top ten (via circulation numbers) daily newspapers’ headlines in the United States censored the words “Islam” and Muslim” from Nairobi and Pakistan reports. One – the New York Daily News – didn’t even have a headline for the latest Islamic terrorist attacks. That’s journalism at its finest.
The Washington Post has a funny way of defining “news.” It just keeps selling the same old story of shooting victims lobbying for gun control. On the front of Sunday’s paper, the headline was “Exposing their scares, hoping to rouse a silent nation.” That headline is simply wrong. The "silent" nation spoke, and liberal gun-control wishes lost.
But the Post’s Eli Saslow went back to the bitter victim-lobbyists wandering the country on a bus funded by Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns, who are now desperate to show graphic images of death and make Americans feel miserable:
Yesterday morning, Floyd Lee Corkins II was sentenced by a federal judge in the District of Columbia to 25 years in prison for his act of terrorism and attempted murder last August at the Family Research Council. Corkins targeted the socially conservative think tank because of what he considered their "anti-gay" views. In an interrogation with the FBI, he admitted that he drew inspiration from a "hate map" on the website for the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
But if you depend solely on ABC, CBS, or NBC's newscasts, you didn't learn any of this. Those networks completely ignored Corkins's sentencing both in September 19 evening news programs and their September 20 morning shows. What's more, the New York Times, which prides itself on publishing "all the news that's fit to print," failed to report the story at all in the Friday newspaper. The Washington Post ran a 28-paragraph story by staffer Ann Marimow, which was printed on page B3. Marimow's story lacked any mention, however, of the role the SPLC's website played in Corkins's planned attack.
Foiled shooter Floyd Corkins is being sentenced on Thursday for his attempted mass shooting at the conservative Family Research Council on August 15, 2012. On the front of Thursday's Metro section, Washington Post reporter Ann E. Marimow offered a positive story on security guard Leonardo Johnson, who was shot in the arm as he prevented Corkins from his murderous plot.
"I want to look in his eyes" was the headline, and Johnson was called a "Hero" in quotes. Why in quotes? Perhaps because his FRC co-workers properly call him "Leo the Hero."
It's Science 101 time for the editorialists at the Washington Post, whose opposition to Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is so fierce that they will literally twist the facts of life to fit their agenda.
As Steve Ertelt at Life News noted Tuesday afternoon, the editorial involved includes "a rather un-scientific claim," namely that "an unborn baby shortly after conception" doesn't achieve status as a "living being" until implantation in the mother's womb.
Today is Constitution Day marking the close 226 years ago of the constitutional convention in Philadelphia. Yet when it comes to constitutional rights, the Washington Post prefers those read into it the document by judicial activists on the Supreme Court over those plainly written in the text of the federal charter. Witness today's editorial page, which both pushes for more gun control, ostensibly to save lives, while blasting the Commonwealth of Virginia's new abortion clinic regulations, which make abortions rarer and hence, well, save lives.
"Will this latest massacre move Americans to more than sorrow?" the Post editorial board asked in the subheadline of their pro-gun control editorial, "Regret, reloaded." "Everything was supposed to change after a man with a semiautomatic weapon mowed down 20 elementary school children in their classrooms last December. But for the politicians, nothing changed," the Post groused.
The American media have long supported gun control, but they have increased their attacks on the gun industry since the Newtown shooting in December with a careful shift in the language they use. The media will most likely exploit the tragic shooting at D.C.’s Navy Yard to push the propaganda term.
While the commonplace “gun control” has an aggressive connotation to it, and rightfully so, liberals have attempted to replace it with the softer-sounding “gun reform” to make their agenda more acceptable. And the print and broadcast media have followed suit in adopting the expression. An Agence France-Presse piece, published just hours after the Navy Yard attack, called anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein a “Senate gun-reform advocate.”
Graham Nash donated almost $4,000 to Barack Obama in 2008. But you'd never know it from Washington Post music writer Chris Richards, who penned a mouth-breathing valentine to Nash in Tuesday's paper titled "Resonant Rocker." The story begins "While America mulls over a foreign war," and Nash is preparing for a concert and dragging out a 42-year-old hippie peace anthem about "Military Madness."
Richards makes it obvious on Tuesday that he deeply loves hippie musician Graham Nash, who he says sings with an “incredibly handsome instrument” and “over the decades, his songbook has struck a rare and brilliant balance between the personal and the political, each lending more gravity to the other.” But the name Obama never comes up in the article. With Obama's wars and NSA spying scoops, it becomes especially ridiculous as Richards discusses 2006 concert by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young that included the song "Let's Impeach the President":
How frightened is the Washington Post of being accused of racism? Apparently, very.
As the Washington Navy Yard shootings story was still breaking mid-day Monday, the Post hastened to assure its readers that a witness who identified a shooter as a black man is black himself: "He was a tall black guy," said her co-worker, Todd Brundage, who is black. "He didn't say a word." The Post is basically saying it's okay to say it, you see, because they found a black man to say the word.
"The pressure" over the weekend from Virginia Democrats for a northern Virginia business group to reverse its gubernatorial endorsement decision and back Terry McAuliffe was "hot and heavy," in the words of Dendy Young, whose political action committee TechPAC -- the political arm of the Northern Virginia Technology Council -- voted by secret ballot on Thursday to endorse Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) in the state's governor's race. What's more, in an email State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) threatened payback, saying the Senate Democratic caucus would "be frigid" and that "doors will be closed" as a result of the PAC's move.
A story like this is an excellent front-page-worthy scoop. It most certainly would be on the Washington Post's front-page were the tables turned and it was Republicans playing hardball with a group whose endorsement it sought but lost during a close gubernatorial election. But alas, Post editors shuffled the story to page B1, the front of the Metro section, while opting to run a story critical of the Republican candidate -- "Cuccinelli plays down immigration in Va. race" -- on page A1.
The Washington Post is being incredibly transparent: it hates hearings into Benghazi. Who needs accountability when our diplomatic posts lack security? The Post portrays this as a partisan exercise. But the very partisan Post has openly worried in its news pages about how the terror attack there will complicate Hillary Clinton’s reputation.
On Monday morning, Post editor Karen DeYoung was blunt (at the bottom of page A-2). The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee isn’t planning hearings. The Republicans are beginning their “promised fall assault” on Team Obama:
Washington Post humorist Gene Weingarten has again demonstrated that he really cannot mock his hero Barack Obama. In his latest failed attempt on Sunday, he began with a throwaway line about Obama’s “Nixonian hissy fits against leakers and whistleblowers,” but his heart wasn’t in it.
Instead, he devoted the column to a crank e-mailer named Duane Steil, and how he passes along bizarre theories like Obama’s “secret gay history.” Gene knows that many anti-Obama conservatives don’t believe Obama secretly snorting cocaine and leading a secret gay life. He just dwells on who he wants to represent conservatives:
Have you witnessed Republicans “using extortion and blackmail?”
The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward apparently has, and claimed on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that some House GOPers are using such methods to defund ObamaCare (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The liberal Washington Post editorial board is no fan of recall elections. They opposed the effort to unseat Scott Walker and they similarly don't care much for the successful effort in Colorado this past Tuesday to recall two anti-gun Democratic state senators. Following both recall elections, the Post issued op-eds expressing their objection to recalls.
But this time around the editorial board was more adamant about the evils of the recall, insisting that "[s]tates should examine their laws with an eye toward heightening the barriers" to tossing elected officials out before their terms expire. "Recalls are rare, but their use is on the rise," the editorial board whined in their September 13 piece, "Government by recall." One culprit, the Post carped, was "nationalization of local issues, which prompts huge flows of outside money into state politics."
Roughly ten days ago, CNN's Fareed Zakaria said, "[T]he administration's handling of Syria over the last year has been a case study in how not to do foreign policy."
On Wednesday, Zakaria wrote a piece for the Washington Post in which he conceded, "Obama’s proposals are also not likely to reduce the humanitarian crisis" in Syria, but yet in his view, the new plan involving Russia "is a significant success."
Let’s look at the way the print media reacted to Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis after their first six months as pontiff.
We looked at the editorials in 15 of the nation’s largest newspapers to see what they said about the current pope, and his predecessor, after their first six months in office (Pope Francis will celebrate his first six months on September 13).
As the Virginia governor's race heats up in the Washington Post's backyard, the liberal broadsheet is doing its best to skew coverage in a favorable manner for liberal Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former DNC chief and longtime friend of the Clintons.
An excellent contrast that illustrate's the paper's bias is how it has handled the back-to-back defections of Republican strategist Boyd Marcus and Democratic activist David "Mudcat" Saunders. The former is backing McAuliffe and the latter is endorsing Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The Post devoted stories to both men's decisions to buck the party line, but staff writer Laura Vozzella had a considerably longer piece on the front page of Metro which painted Marcus's move as a harbinger of a deeper GOP party split. [RELATED: check out my colleague Rich Noyes's study on Virginia newspapers slanting towards McAuliffe]
As expected, the establishment press's excuse-makers have come out to defend the indefensible, claiming that President Barack Obama's Wednesday assertion in Stockholm that "I did not set a red line" with Syria and chemical weapons doesn't contradict his oft-quoted August 2012 "red line" statement.
I didn't think that the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler to be among those trying to explain it all away; (meanwhiile, PolitiFact has predictably weighed in; its post is the subject of Part 2). While he has been a bit heavier in handing out the "Pinocchios" in situations involving Republicans and conservatives than to Democrats and liberals, Kessler has rarely tried to convince readers that they didn't see or hear what the really saw and heard. Unfortunately, that's exactly what he did in this instance by giving the obvious contradiction "no rating." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine; HT Hot Air):