It’s been nearly a week but it seems that someone in the press finally noticed the lack of American media traveling with Mrs. Obama across China. The Washington Post’s Krissah Thompson, who just yesterday gushed over the first lady’s trip, finally acknowledged in a March 26 piece that American media were shut out from the first lady's press pool.
Despite Thompson’s admission, the Post buried the details on A7 with the awkward title that “In China, first lady lauds free press amid questions about access.” The Post reported recognized that “coverage of the trip has been made more difficult by tight restrictions on reporters and photographers, who have been kept far away from many events and were not allowed to accompany the first lady, her mother and her two daughters on their flight last week from the United States.”
At President Barack Obama's press conference in The Hague, Netherlands today, as part of a much longer question, ABC's Jonathan Karl asked Obama whether "Mitt Romney had a point when he said that Russia is America’s biggest geopolitical foe? If not Russia, who?"
It's important to note that Obama's response to that portion of Karl's question pertained to and was directed at Romney. A video containing Karl's question and Obama's answer ("With respect to Mr. Romney’s assertion that Russia’s our number- one geopolitical foe, the truth of the matter is that, you know, America’s got a whole lot of challenges. Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors -- not out of strength, but out of weakness") shows that the President's tone at that point was generally calm with a bit of a defiant edge which seemed directed at Romney and Karl (perhaps not in that order). That didn't stop the establishment press from claiming that Obama's statement was really an insult directed at Russia (it wasn't) and that the President supposedly directed his "derisive" statement towards Russian President Vladimir Putin (he didn't).
First Lady Michelle Obama is wrapping up her tour of China sans the American press. Despite American media being shut out from the visit, Mrs. Obama has received glowing coverage of her trip, most recently from The Washington Post’s Krissah Thompson.
Writing on Tuesday’s March 25, Thompson puffed up “History and jump-rope as first lady visits Xi’an” before providing a glowing description of Mrs. Obama’s “five-hour sightseeing tour, giving her and her family a view of China’s long history- plus a little jump-roping on the side.”
The Washington Post was apparently too star-struck to notice the irony of Kevin Spacey coming to an Annapolis reception to demand millions of dollars more in tax credits from the Maryland state government for a Hollywood company to make the program “House of Cards”in the state.
Spacey, an avid liberal and Obama fan, seems to like corporate welfare when it benefits him. Post reporters Jenna Johnson and John Wagner never found an ounce of One Percent irony while they described the oozy Spacey scene at the Red Red Wine Bar:
The Washington Post' s free tabloid Express put Dan Savage in its "top stops" feature -- "The best things to do this weekend." He's touring with his annual festival of amateur pornography.
"If you're shy, you may want to avoid this touring version of the Pacific Northwest's Hump! Film Festival. Curated by 'Savage Love' columnist Dan Savage, Hump! is a 90-minute showcase of short, often pornographic films that celebrate all types of human sexuality," it promised. It's showing at the trendy-left Woolly Mammoth Theater in DC. What's exactly "all types" of sexuality? Here are some of the offerings from Savage's Humptour.com website:
In computer science, GIGO means that a faulty input will result in a faulty output. Perhaps GIGO in the specific area of Obamacare enrollment projects should be Gaba In, Gaba Out since many leftwing sites are currently singing the praises of one Charles Gaba, a blogger who is projecting incredibly high Obamacare numbers. And now the Washington Post's Wonkblog writer, Jason Millman, is the latest person to be enthralled by the very convenient Obamacare numbers served up by Gaba. Here is Millman singing his Gaba paean:
Virginia’s new governor, Terry McAuliffe, is returning to form, hosting special fundraising coffees with major donors and policy “experts.” This may be just like the way McAuliffe held White House coffees and sold overnight Lincoln Bedroom stays to donors for Bill Clinton, but it’s a bit troublesome for The Washington Post, which quickly cancelled its own cozy idea of sponsored “expert” dinners at the home of publisher Katherine Weymouth.
So the Post buried that McAuliffe story on B-2, while the front page of Metro kept pounding the last governor, indicted Republican Robert McDonnell. The judge in his case colorfully ruled his lawyers were “dancing through fantasy land.”
Washington Post "Fact Checker" blogger Glenn Kessler has given "Four Pinocchios" ("a whopper") to a pro-Democratic group's political ad opposing the U.S. Senate candidacy of Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy. The claim: The Koch Brothers, who are prominent financial supporters of the pro-GOP group Americans for Prosperity, want to protect, in the ad's words, “tax cuts for companies that ship our jobs overseas.”
Unfortunately, I have been told that Kessler's post did not make the paper's print edition; to no one's surprise, the Post has a tendency to give Kessler posts which fact-check Republicans greater print edition visibility. Additionally, at least one other Post writer and career race-baiter Al Sharpton have praised the anti-Koch ad and the strategy behind it. The likelihood that either will acknowledge Kessler's debunking is extremely low. Here are the key paragraphs from Kessler's work (bolds are mine throughout this post):
CNN's New Day on Tuesday devoted a 23-second news brief to the death of author Joe McGinniss on Monday, noting that "McGinniss made headlines again in 2010, when he moved next door to Sarah Palin's Alaska home in order to research his book, 'The Rogue.' Palin threatened to sue him, but never did."
However, Tuesday's Today on NBC, which touted their interview of McGinnis in September 2011 by hyping his supposed "stunning allegations made about Sarah Palin in a bombshell book," omitted his passing on Tuesday. Anchor Savannah Guthrie gave the writer a platform during the segment to forward his unsubstantiated claims about the former Alaska governor:
Nowhere in her 15-paragraph March 11 obituary of Melba Hernandez did Associated Press writer Andrea Rodriguez find space to cite a critic of the late Cuban Communist revolutionary.
In her story -- headlined "'Heroine of the Cuban Revolution' was lifelong Castro loyalist" in the Washington Post -- Ms. Rodriguez paid significant attention to the role Hernandez played in aiding Castro's rise to power as well as to the "human rights awards" she received in 1997 from that great humanitarian Col. MoammarGaddafi, all the while using gauzy language to describe her exploits (emphasis mine):
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: