Today's "On Faith" page in the Washington Post featured a puzzling contrast that shows the left-wing media's schizophrenia when it comes to traditional religious faith. The paper's religion section editors ran these two items side-by-side: a Religion News Service (RNS) article that was thoroughly positive about Muslim women who want to design and/or model fashionable yet modest clothing, and Post religion writer Lisa Miller's attack on Catholic bishops for their stances on Christian sexual ethics in general and opposition to the ObamaCare contraception mandate in particular.
In "A Muslim fashion statement: Agency connects modesty-minded models with designers," Omar Sacirbey of RNS opened his 23-paragraph feature with the story of Savannah Uqdah, a devout Muslim woman who at one time aspired to be a fashion model but "didn't want to violate Islam's tenets on modesty." As such, Uqdah "shelved her modeling dreams and instead expressed herself through the fashions she wore." But now that modeling agencies eye a lucrative market in fashionable yet modest attire, Sacirbey notes, women like Uqdah are excited at the potential to live out their dreams.
Complaining about Senate Republicans being dissatisfied with former senator Chuck Hagel's refusal to turn over information related to speeches he delivered that were financed by foreign sources, MSNBC's Tamron Hall this afternoon took a conservative blogger out of context to suggest that even conservatives were frustrated with how the Senate GOP -- which, by the way, is the minority party in the Senate and lacks the votes to thwart a Hagel confirmation -- was handling the confirmation process.
In a February 8 NewsNation segment entitled "Hagel Holdup," Hall lamented that Republican "senators are also demanding that Hagel give them copies of every speech he's made in the past five years. It's a process Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin says, quote, 'could be the most inept and disorganized confirmation effort in recent memory.'" While Rubin did write that Friday morning, the Post blogger was referring to the Obama administration and Mr. Hagel, not Republicans. From "A critical weekend for the Hagel nomination" (video follows page break; MP3 audio here):
The February 7 Washington Post ran an in-depth front-page story examining the relationship between Sen. Robert Menendez and a Florida eye doctor under investigation for Medicare fraud. Despite extensively detailing the controversial relationship between the New Jersey Democrat and the reliably Democratic campaign donor, the Post's Carol Leonnig and Jerry Markon omitted that the FBI is also investigating allegations that Menendez paid for underage prostitutes with girls in the Dominican Republican. Oddly enough, however, the paper's Style section ran another Menendez story, this one by staff writer Manuel Roig-Franzia, which did mention the hooker scandal. Even so, that article, headlined "Behind the gates of this exclusive resort, a scandal brews," was mostly focused on just how exclusive and luxurious Menedez's Dominican getaway was, reading in parts like a promotional travel brochure.
Conservatives might take heart from a recent poll showing a decline in Americans' trust in government. But Chris Cillizza sees it as a "depressing reality." So wrote Cillizza in his "Fix" column in today's Washington Post. Indeed, Cillizza's headline, "Are we in the end times of trust in government?", suggests that he finds the development nothing short of potentially apocalyptic.
Let's consider what Thomas Jefferson's had to say about the need for a healthy distrust of government—and speculate as to why the polling news has Chris bummed out. More after the jump.
The media complicity in President Obama's drone strategy gets more and more astonishing with each passing day.
On Wednesday, Britain's Guardian published a piece with the incredible sub-headline "New York Times and Washington Post knew about secret drone base in Saudi Arabia but agreed not to disclose it to the public."
Update (18:53 EST): The Post article in question was updated at 6:35 p.m. to reflect the SPLC connection (see below) | The man who critically injured a Family Research Center security staffer in a shooting last August pleaded guilty on Wednesday to, among other charges, "committing an act of terrorism with the intent to kill." the Associated Press and ABC affiliate WJLA today are reporting. What's more, the suspect in question admitted he was inspired to strike out at the FRC after visiting a liberal website which declared them an anti-gay hate group. That fact,however, was omitted by the Washington Post in their write-up on the story.
Floyd Lee Corkins, "who had been volunteering at a center for gay, lesbian and transgender people" was apprehended with a handgun, two extra magazines of ammunition and sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, that latter of which he "intended to smear... in the faces of his victims to make a statement about gay rights opponents, [Corkins] acknowledged during a hearing Wednesday," WJLA.com reported on Wednesday afternoon.
Just three days after the inauguration, a White House official told The Hill's Erik Wasson that the Obama administration would be nine days late in presenting its budget blueprint, going to Congress on February 13 with the multi-volume spending plan instead of the February 4 deadline set by federal law. This marks the third year in a row that the president has missed the budgetary deadline.
Well, yesterday, the deadline came and went, only this time White House press secretary Jay Carney informed reporters that the White House had no firm date on when the budget would be released, refusing to give reporters an approximate release date and turning to predictable talking points in which he bashed congressional Republicans, you know, the guys who actually passed a budget plan last year. From the White House website:
The Washington Post announced today that former national editor and staff writer Kevin Merida is the paper's new managing editor, effective immediately. "Kevin is a journalist of remarkable accomplishment, with a record of strong leadership," Post executive editor Marty Baron was quoted in a community relations notice. "He has cultivated a talented staff on the National desk, and he has won the admiration and affection of his colleagues. I'm delighted to have him leading coverage across the entire newsroom,” Baron added.
Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Anne Gearan has repeatedly blown kisses to Hillary Clinton in the past few months with her gauzy coverage of the departing secretary of state's handling of Benghazi. Today she took her show on the road, make that air, as she appeared on MSNBC's Martin Bashir program with Democratic strategist Kiki McLean and guest host former DNC communications director Karen Finney. With MSNBC looking forward giddily to a possible 2016 presidential run, the segment was titled onscreen as "Until We Meet Again."
Sure "[s]he leaves office without huge accomplishments" like groundbreaking peace talks or the like, but she does have "enormous goodwill around the world," Gearan gushed. "Some of her greatest accomplishments really were just showing up," the Post staffer insisted.
Washington Post In the Loop columnist Al Kamen has once again proven he’s one of the Obama administration’s biggest cheerleaders. You may recall that he asked readers to choose the First Family’s vacation spot last summer, and dismissed criticism coming from liberals that Obama's second term Cabinet was getting more monochromatic and male.
Well, ol' Al has a new contest for us: picking the title of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's memoir.
The Washington Post somehow calls one of their blogs “Right Turn: Jennifer Rubin’s take from a conservative perspective.” This is an odd title when Rubin complains that a politician is destroying himself and the Republican Party by advocating conservative principles. Rubin was put on the Post op-ed page on Friday trashing Virginia’s Attorney General and GOP candidate for governor this fall: “It is not like I didn’t spot the Ken Cuccinelli train wreck coming up around the bend.”
Then, in another blog from her pro-Israel perch, Rubin blasted Chuck Hagel, but this take did not make the newspaper: “It’s fascinating, actually, to see a nominee of this importance do so poorly. Chuck Hagel, nominated for defense secretary, has gone from awful to atrocious today... It is unclear whether he was not prepped properly, whether he refused to be coached or whether he simply isn’t bright.”
Former senator Chuck Hagel's shoddy performance at his confirmation hearing yesterday has not merely been panned by conservative outlets but also liberal ones. For example, in "What Happened to Hagel?", Daily Beast's Ali Gharib concluded that "a proud statesman" appeared "confused and unsure as he took body shots" from skeptical senators, all the while being unable to explain "some version—any version—of the sober views he's put forward over his years as a foreign policy thinker."John Judis of The New Republic complained that "[f]ormer Sen. Chuck Hagel didn’t acquit himself well.... He was equivocal, often unconvincing, and seemed taken aback by questions that had been swirling around the rightwing blogosphere for weeks."
But leave it to the Washington Post to dutifully carry the Obama administration's water. In his page A3 February 1 story, "Hagel sharply attacked at Senate hearing," Ernesto Londono took aim at the GOP for their "withering criticism" of Hagel. Londono conceded that "at times [Hagel] struggled" but insisted that he "nonetheless offered a full-throated endorsement of the United States' alliance with Israel, insisted he has never advocated for unilateral nuclear disarmament and called Iran an existential threat."
He probably shouldn't quit his day job, but Jason Horowitz may want to try his hand at an amateur comedy night sometime. After all, the Washington Post staff writer published a laughable 36-paragraph profile of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) today which hailed the senior New York senator as a leftie who has "embraced Obama's old bipartisan religion" of late "in a move to realize the president's second-term agenda."
"Casual viewers" of last week's inauguration ceremonies "could have been forgiven for mistaking Schumer for the president's Borscht Belt footman," Horowitz gushed, but, "Actually, he's become the president's right-hand man on Capitol Hill," which is "a remarkable development" for a Democrat who in Obama's first term "wanted to crush the opposition, not compromise."
No good (or at least spineless) deed goes unpunished. As the news broke that the Boy Scouts of America is considering allowing local charters to decide whether to admit homosexual scouts and leaders, the left just won’t let up. Networks like ABC and NBC have already called for more inclusivity this week and so has Washington Post guest writer Herb Silverman, a self-described “Jewish Atheist” and “founder and President Emeritus of the Secular Coalition for America”
If the Scouts do adopt that policy, Silverman suggested that the next “step forward” is to admit atheists as well. He wrote, “I look forward to a day when the Boy Scouts become as tolerant as the Girl Scouts, who have refused to discriminate against any girl for any reason because they regard lesbian and atheist girls as equals.”
They're "the hottest brother act since the Kennedys: tougher than the Mannings, smarter than the Baldwins, more profane than the Sheens," gush Washington Post gossip columnists Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger in today's The Reliable Source lead item headlined "Showing the love of tough brothers."
"Get ready -- the Emanuel boys are taking their show on the road," Roberts and Argetsinger enthused, noting the promotional tour that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), his elder brother Zeke -- an Obama health-care policy advisor --, and younger brother Ari --a high-powered Hollywood agent -- are taking to promote Zeke's new memoir "Growing Up Emanuel":
Over the past two days, MSNBC has been busy bashing pro-gun rights advocates as craven ghouls in light of a video they insist shows the father of a child slain in the Newtown massacre as being "heckled" during official testimony. But a review of the full videotape testimony shows that, in fact, Neil Heslin was not heckled, but that a few spectators in the hearing room answered a question Heslin posed. Both conservative sites like Twitchy and liberal outlets like Slate have come to the conclusion that there was in fact no heckling.
Washington Post TV writer Lisa de Moraes wrote that Daily Show host Jon Stewart "shot himself in the foot" when interviewing NBC's Bob Costas on Monday night's show. They discussed all the fuss Costas caused by pompously editorializing during a halftime break on NBC about how handguns never accomplish anything good.
Costas told Stewart he’d been let off the hook when “Newtown happened.” He said Newtown, “as horribly tragic as that was, if it did redirect the debate and people are now at least somewhat more willing to think about this rationally and compassionately…then that is a good thing.” Don't you love how liberalism equals rational and compassionate thinking? The Post writer reported Stewart pulled the gun on his own foot by bringing up pop culture:
"Welcome to this century, Scouts," cheered liberal Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak in her January 29 column headlined "Boy Scouts can, belatedly, set an example of courage." Dvorak hailed the announcement on Monday by the National Council of the scouting organization that it would propose doing away with a national ban on openly gay members and leaders, instead allowing local chapters to set policy on the matter.
Hailing the "righteousness" of the move, Dvorak hailed how the Scouts had earned a "courage badge" for the move. In truth, however, the maneuver comes after intense lobbying by gay rights advocates that dried up previously reliable streams of corporate funding. Dvorak failed to mention this, but gay rights activists have been hard at work of late pushing corporate boardrooms from ending donations to the Boy Scouts of America. Thus far drug manufacturer Merck, computer process manufacturer Intel and parcel shipping giant UPS have ended their donations to the 102-year-old organization in large part due to petition drives by gay activists.
The Washington Post's religion writers have been hard at work of late to boost the religious left's push for more stringent gun control legislation. On Thursday, for example, Post religion writer Michelle Boorstein treated readers of the paper's Metro section with a puffy front-page item celebrating the pulpit-pounding for gun control from the likes of the dean of the Episcopal Church's National Cathedral, Rev. Gary Hall, a self-described "left-wing Democrat." Hall has cravenly lumped gun control in with the message of the Christian gospel, using liberal applause lines like "I believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby."
Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker made a couple of predictions on Sunday's syndicated Chris Matthews Show that are guaranteed to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
First, in a discussion about whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016, Parker said she wouldn't as "ultimate revenge" on husband Bill who "wants her to run more than anyone else" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Washington Post writer Suzy Khimm, a former reporter for far-left magazine Mother Jones, did her best to portray the Heritage Foundation's lobbying outfit, Heritage Action, as an extreme cabal in a Thursday item on the front page of the Style section. Khimm used two variations of "hardline" to label the two-plus year old group, as well as the term "hard-right."
In her article, "The right’s latest weapon: think-tank lobbying muscle," the writer ballyhooed Heritage Action's influence in the halls of Congress, particularly in the continuing budget battle. She first likened the organization to the alter-ego of a well-known superhero:
The Washington Post’s Metro columnist John Kelly has climbed aboard the gun control train once again. Usually Kelly's writing is non-controversial non-political fare about local Washington, D.C. history, but this week, his columns turned political. For Inauguration Day, he turned his column into a screed to attack out-of-towners for being dismissive of the District of Columbia's lack of voting representation in Congress.
Two days later, Kelly turned his pen to pushing for more stringent gun regulations, recounting the horrific story of Judith Cox, a housewife who killed her four children, then turned the gun on herself, on Valentine's Day 1964.
One of the requirements to be a liberal media member in the 21st century is to have selective amnesia when your agenda demands it.
Consider presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin who during an appearance on PBS's Charlie Rose Monday said, "The political culture in which [Barack Obama's] had to work in these last four years may have been the most difficult political culture that any president’s had in a long period of time" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
At one time, newspapers were America’s source for news and current events. Today it’s a completely different story. While President Obama has declared a push to ban or limit types of guns, the nation’s major newspapers are nearly unanimous in their support of gun control. The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and other most-popular papers led the list.
The consistent theme of almost every gun editorial from Dec. 15, 2012 to Jan. 11, 2013, was that stricter gun laws were needed, and semi-automatic rifles should be completely banned from civilian use. Some newspapers were even more aggressive.
As NewsBusters reported Saturday, CBS News political director John Dickerson advised the current White House resident to destroy the Republican Party.
On PBS's Charlie Rose Monday, the Washington Post's Bob Woodward made a much different recommendation to President Obama saying, "Sticking your finger in these people’s eye all the time I don't think will work" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Detecting media bias is often an exercise in contrasting two analogous events to see how the media worked to write the narrative in the public's imagination. We at NewsBusters have already looked at how the media love the party atmosphere of the Obama inaugurals but groused at the expense of Bush's second inaugural, for example.
So it's instructive to see how Washington Post veteran journalist Dan Balz greeted President Obama's entry into his second term with how he looked at the dawn of President George W. Bush's second term. "[T]his Inauguration Day comes at a time when there is far greater realism about whether the president, or perhaps any leader, can transcend political divisions and unite the country," Balz noted in his front-page January 21 analysis piece, "This time, the idea of a new beginning seems optimistic."
On Saturday's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, during a discussion of the 40th anniversary of the Roe Vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, panel member Nia-Malika Henderson of the Washington Post asserted that it is a "real problem" that many parts of the country do not have abortion clinics.
She went on to fret that younger people are not interested enough in the issue and recommended that "feminist groups and pro-abortion groups have to find a way to engage them and educate them because they're going to be the ones that are on these grassroot levels and at the state levels..."