In his page A51 November 7 column, "Voting on same-sex marriage, with the Book of Leviticus ringing in my ears," the Washington Post's Courtland Milloy explained how, as a child raised in the "Bible Belt during the 1950s with that Old-Time Religion," he's still haunted by "Leviticus, that strong-arm book of the Bible that for years has tried to dictate my thoughts and actions through fear and guilt and on Tuesday dogged my every step to the polls."
What followed was Milloy recounting his consultations with two liberal theological influences in the local African-American community who helped convince him that voting for same-sex marriage was biblically kosher. He also tossed in a conservative black pastor who was quickly derided as a biblical literalist who is "not literate" in the estimation of a Howard Divinity professor. But at the very close of his column, Milloy rather gratuitously dropped in something that suggests he was struggling with lusting in his heart after President Obama's wife:
So the meme is supposedly set. Final pre-election expectations are that the popular vote in the 2012 presidential contest will come in roughly deadlocked. Rasmussen and Gallup show Republican nominee Mitt Romney up by one point. Other polls show either a tie or slight lead for incumbent Democrat Barack Obama.
Set against this expectation, don't be surprised if someone in the press, perhaps even at one of the big networks, gets overexcited and projects Barack Obama the winner based on Tuesday's early exit polls without realizing that their scope and design have changed from previous presidential elections in two fundamental ways.
The Washington Post story offered the liberal organizers of an anti-Romney, pro-PBS-subsidy "Million Puppet March" their biggest dose of publicity on Monday on the front page of the Style section -- despite the tiny 600-person Capitol Hill protest on Saturday. Post reporter Maura Judkis wrongly presented the march co-founder Chris Mecham as a nonpartisan puppet lover.
"I've never been political. I didn't intend for this," Mecham said in the Post story. "I just feel passionately about this one thing." Wrong. Sixty seconds on Mecham's Twitter page would have easily kept this lie out of the paper, like this Thursday tweet begging for Democrat donations:
Planning for the event began several weeks ago after GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in the first presidential debate that despite his love for Sesame Street's Big Bird he would not advocate further public funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Oddly, an unbylined AP story at the Washington Post written sometime earlier this week which was apparently not treated as a national story gave readers the impression that the idea for the march had only come up a few days earlier (posted in full because of its brevity and for fair use and discussion purposes):
Parkmobile, a company that runs an app by which smartphone users can pay for on-street metered parking, recently found itself bullied by a powerful liberal Democratic senator, simply for exercising its freedom of speech. The company found itself on the receiving end of Sen. Dick Durbin's wrath for having sent an email to its users in which it chalked up an increase in its transaction fees to "increased costs triggered by recent federal legislative reform enacted by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act's Durbin Amendment."
According to the Washington Post's Dina ElBoghdady, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) shot off a letter to the company hitting the claims as "grossly misleading." On top of that, Durbin sent another letter to Washington, D.C. Mayor Vince Gray, complaining that the company, which has a contract with the federal city's government to do business, "offer[ed] up incorrect, unsolicited legislative analysis while hiding behind poorly reasoned excuses for their own price hikes."
For the sixth night in a row, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News refused to give one single second of coverage to a Fox News report that the Obama Administration denied help to those attacked and killed by terrorists at the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11. According to a Media Research Center analysis, ABC, CBS, and NBC have failed to cover this devastating story - not to confirm it, not to knock it down, and never mind do their own investigation. The story broke last Friday, long before Hurricane Sandy swamped the news cycle. Further, neither The Washington Post nor The New York Times has committed a single inch of their newspapers to a news story about this report.
According to Fox News, “sources claim officers at the nearby CIA annex in Benghazi were twice told to stand down when they requested to help those at the consulate. They later ignored those orders. Fox News was also told that a subsequent request for back-up when the annex came under attack was denied as well.”
NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:
As the liberal media generally but MSNBC most intensely has attacked for an October 30 Ohio event in which Governor Romney spurred on rally attendees to help pack relief supplies for folks displaced by Hurricane Sandy, the Washington Post's Al Kamen (formerly a legal reporter at the paper) groused that Gov. Romney is trying hard not to look like he’s still in campaign mode, while praising President Obama for "trading his role as a candidate for that of commander in chief."
Kamen cracked that Romney is “finding that, unlike franks and beans, charity and politics can be a tricky mix.” As we at NewsBusters have noted, this is hardly the Post columnist's first foray into Obama puffery and gratuitous swipes at Gov. Romney.
Tuesday’s front-page of The Washington Post offered a positive profile of Comcast’s chief lobbyist (and Democrat) David Cohen, the “wonk rock star.”
The story’s central idea was the notion that Cohen’s offering of a low-income Internet service was a crucial part of Obama’s FCC approving Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal....as if the massive campaign cash for Democrats didn’t help seal the deal. Kang began:
President Obama's gimmicky 48-hour campaign swing last week was given gauzy treatment on the front page of the October 30 Washington Post Style page. Staff writer Jason Horowitz devoted a 36-paragraph story headlined "Sleepless in the swing states" to the venture. Horowitz opened with "the president's electoral mastermind" David Plouffe as his protagonist.
Plouffe "is the data-driven guru of Obama's 2008 victory," Horowitz gushed, adding that the presidential reelection campaign may be a referendum on Obama, "but it is also by extension a referendum on Plouffe." Horowitz turned to Plouffe to dismiss as "garbage" polling data that bodes poorly for the president. While Horowitz may have aimed at positively portraying team Obama as happy warriors on the campaign trail, Plouffe ends up sounding a bit like Baghdad Bob:
Meet the Press viewers got to see a classic Left-Right debate Sunday.
In a discussion about which presidential candidate is the most trustworthy, New York Times columnist David Brooks surprisingly teamed up with former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina to school the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow (video follows with NBCNews.com transcript and commentary):
The national and battleground state polls are all showing tremendous momentum for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney since the first debate.
Despite this, with the absence of conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, the entire panel of PBS’s Inside Washington Friday – comprised of the Washington Post’s Colby King, PBS’s Mark Shields, Politico’s Evan Thomas, and NPR’s Nina Totenberg – unanimously stated that if the election were held today, President Obama would win (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
It's hard to find a benchmark against which to compare remarks delivered by Vice President Joe Biden, but here's one from a past administration. In June 2004, Bush 43 Vice President Dick Cheney was greeted on the Senate Floor at the annual Senate photo op by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. Leahy had previously been flogging the left's phantasm over alleged "profiteering" by Halliburton, the company at which Cheney had served as Chairman and CEO from 1995-2000. At the end of a testy exchange, Cheney either said "(F-word) you" or "(F-word) yourself."
In his weekly radio address on July 3, 2010, President Barack Obama announced that "the Department of Energy is awarding nearly $2 billion in conditional commitments from the Recovery Act to two solar companies." Neither of them was named Solyndra.
One of the two companies Obama did name was Fort Collins, Colorado-based Abound Solar, which Obama touted as a company which would create "more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs" at two new plants which "When fully operational ... will produce millions of state-of-the-art solar panels each year." As Amy Oliver detailed at Townhall a year ago, Abound is a classic case of Obama bundler cronyism. In July, just shy of two years after Obama's address, the company, which benefited from $400 million of Department of Energy loan guarantees, filed for bankruptcy. Yesterday, a Colorado District Attorney announced a criminal investigation. So far, it's only local Colorado-area news (internal links added by me; bolds are mine):
While President Obama's record-breaking pace to raising a total of $1 billion earlier this month received significant media attention, there was little if any curiosity among the traditional press about how he was on track to achieve such an unprecedented milestone in presidential fundraising. The broadcast networks in particular have not bothered to mention the growing scandal that is being scrupulously pieced together by alternative media outlets.
An independently-owned website Obama.com (redirects to official site here) has been suspected of accepting millions of dollars worth of illegal foreign donations for months now. Despite all the speculation and accusations coming from a nonprofit organization known as the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), no action had been taken until recently.
This morning the Washington Post website announced that the paper had decided to endorse President Barack Obama for reelection. That endorsement should hit the print edition tomorrow. But make no mistake, endorsing the president is not the only cover the paper is granting the president. Witness the Post's treatment of the latest, damning development in the Benghazi fiasco.
In her rush to condemn U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite -- no stranger to criticism here on NewsBusters -- took the Indiana Republican's recent comments on abortion out of context and subsequently offered up readers a theology which, if followed to its logical conclusion, demeans the humanity and God-given dignity of persons living today who were conceived because of rape.
You know Obama supporters are getting desperate about their candidate’s electoral prospects when they start to play the anti-Mormon card.
In an October 23 opinion piece in the Washington Post, Barbara Reynolds launched a broadside against Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith, arguing that he has become the “face of Mormonism” in America and complaining “I find it strange that the media are not opening up a dialogue concerning Romney and his faith.”
The president may have stepped in it with his glib, dismissive "horses and bayonets" crack in Monday's debate, but Laura Vozzella is determined to provide cover fire from her foxhole at the Washington Post.
"Navy country not riled by Obama 'bayonets' jab," blared the Metro section headline to Vozzella's October 24 story. "As Republicans criticize debate barb, folks in southeast Va. shrug it off," added the subheader. In fact, Vozzella insisted, "it seemed to hardly make a ripple in Hampton Roads," an area in southeastern Virginia with a large military and shipbuilding presence.
MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham appeared on Lou Dobbs Tonight on Friday on the Fox Business Channel to discuss the media’s protective coverage of the Obama administration on the growing Benghazi scandal.
Graham said on the Big Three networks, "We've had 22 stories in the last couple of days about binders full of women and networks skipping out on covering Libya." (Video and transcript below)
As we've noted here at NewsBusters, the Washington Post's Laura Vozzella has done her level best to attack Virginia's new strict abortion clinic regulations. Today was no exception as the Post staffer jumped on the chance to cast a Democrat-appointed health official's resignation in protest of the new regs as a move that has "provoked an outcry among the medical community." However the doctor that Vozzella quoted to represent the entire medical professional in the Old Line State is a Democratic donor whose primary place of medical practice is a Planned Parenthood clinic in Richmond.
In her October 19 front-pager "Virginia health official resigns: Abortion clinic rules cited," Vozzella noted how "Virginia's health commissioner" Karen Remley -- a 2008 appointee of then-Gov. Tim Kaine who was retained by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) -- "abruptly stepped down Thursday over new regulations requiring abortion facilities to meet strict, hospital-style building standards that many clinics contend they cannot afford." Later in her story, Vozzella turned to one Wendy Klein, whom she simply told readers was "an internist and retired Virginia Commonwealth University medical professor who has spoken against the building rules."
The editors of the Washington Post have, yet again, shown their extreme dislike for George Allen. Less than three weeks before Virginia's crucial Senate election, the liberal paper offered front page profiles of Republican Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine. On Friday, the Post's headline sympathetically declared: "A Man of Faith and Practical Politics: While Running for Senate in Virginia, Kaine Finds Time to Wrestle With His Conscience." (The paper endorsed Kaine on Monday.)
The headline for Thursday's profile announced, "A Humbler, More Cautious Allen." Not surprisingly, the Post dredged up Allen's 2006 "macaca" remark. Marc Fisher reminded that six years ago, Allen "found himself portrayed in news reports and voters’ minds as a colossally insensitive brute, a senator who publicly slurred an Indian American man who was working for his opponent at a campaign event, calling him 'macaca.'" The above description came from the third paragraph and made it onto page A1.
In the age where the 800+ word column is dead, The Washington Post seemed to make an exception Thursday for political writer Jason Horowitz to explore a sterile saga about Mitt Romney’s ’94 Massachusetts senate run against Ted Kennedy.
The question is why did The Washington Post decide it was pertinent to publish this 3,800-word piece at this point in time? Is it because Mitt Romney gained another point in the Gallup poll? Regardless of the political angle, Horowitz's piece was filled with innuendo about Romney’s faith, as if the ’94 race was part of some grand Mormon conspiracy.
It looks like Candy Crowley, her establishment press excuse-makers (for her and President Obama), and supporters of the President are going to have to resort to finding penumbras emanating from Obama's September 12 Rose Garden appearance -- y'know, the one during which the press and Democrats insist that the President really, really did call the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya a terrorist attack.
The reason they're going to have to do this is because the person who asked Obama the Libya question is saying that the President himself told him that he delayed calling Benghazi a terrorist attack. Erik Wemple at the Washington Post apparently doesn't grasp the damning significance of what the questioner, Kerry Ladka, relayed to him.
Just before 1 p.m. ET, Rush Limbaugh said the following about CNN's Candy Crowley and her performance as "moderator" last night in the second presidential debate: "In the real world, she would have committed career suicide last night."
In a pathetic attempt to smear Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan ahead of Tuesday's second presidential debate, NBC's Today seized on a story in Monday's Washington Post accusing Ryan and his family of washing already clean pots and pans at a soup kitchen in Ohio for a photo-op. Co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "Would a campaign do that? We're gonna talk about it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following a report on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking responsibility for security failures in the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd actually treated the supposed dishwashing incident as if it were a scandal: "Paul Ryan is dealing with some fallout from that weekend photo-op....something that – that the campaign is a little nervous about because they're trying to get through this idea of whether they're in touch or out of touch."
The Biden-Ryan vice-presidential debate Thursday night brought out the media's "fact check" squads, including the New York Times, which had a squad of reporters evaluating the statements of Joe Biden and Paul Ryan online during the debate. Still, with perhaps 15 reporters on the job Thursday night, the paper still had to out-source a crucial Biden misstatement on Libya to the one-man fact-check machine at the Washington Post, Glenn Kessler, the next morning.
The Times boiled down a few of its findings for Friday's print edition under "Check Point" on topics including Medicare, the stimulus, and the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
James Taranto has written at Opinion Journal that this new-style media "fact checking" is "overwhelmingly biased toward the left" and "gives journalists much freer rein to express their opinions by allowing them to pretend to be rendering authoritative judgments about the facts." The Times's debate product doesn't refute Taranto's argument. Reporter Michael Cooper had the top "Check Point" item and per usual found the Republican at fault:
Washington Post writer Dan Zak penned a "TV Review" of the debates in the A section which bragged "only Vice President Biden acted as though he could sit at the desk in the Oval Office and have his feet touch the ground." In the paper, he began " A pro debated a novice," but on Twitter, Zak previewed he would write "A man debated a boy Thursday night." He also insulted Ryan on Twitter as a pervert/criminal on Law & Order SVU. (See below.)
Zak admired the "firm control" and needling "vigor" of ABC's Martha Raddatz as moderator, but admitted "Fairly or not, she reserved most of her skepticism for Ryan." Even liberals found it obvious:
Updated at bottom of post | Bit by bit, slowly but surely, the Obama administration's initial story about what transpired in the deadly September 11 terrorist attack unraveled over the past few weeks. At the same time, we learned, no thanks to broadcast network newscasts that largely ignored the story -- that the consulate was poorly secured, that security personnel had been reduced in the weeks preceding 9/11, and that Amb. Chris Stevens feared for his life.
So how did the Washington Post cover yesterday's House Oversight Committee hearing into "The Security Failures of Benghazi"? According to Post staffer Anne Gearan, it was a "highly charged" partisan exercise that "produced few new revelations about the attack" although it "underscored the administration's political vulnerability over the Benghazi episode four weeks before the presidential election."
Four Americans are dead from a September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and it's becoming abundantly clear that security at the compound had been incredibly lax and that the Obama administration may have actively attempted to deceive the public about the terroristic nature of the strike in the first few days subsequent to it. A House committee is holding a hearing as I write this to get to the bottom of things.
So how did the Post cover the story in the Wednesday, October 10 paper? By worrying about the political impact on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Here's how staff writer Anne Gearan opened her page A1 story headlined "Deadly Benghazi attack could mar Clinton legacy":