Sunday's Washington Post seemed to arrive about two months late with a dominating front-page story on mourning Newtown parents Mark and Jackie Barden. Much of the Eli Saslow story was a heart-breaking account about the aftermath of their son Daniel's death in the grade-school rampage.
But the Post also wanted to drive home the anger that Newtown did not create a gun-control victory for Obama and the Bardens, as Mark introduced the president on April 17, when Obama called it a "pretty shameful day" that the gun-rights advocates had won. "Gun culture was extreme," Barden thought, and it couldn't be moderated.
The specter of school shootings has brought a too-typical staple to local newspaper sections: the boys disciplined at (or suspended from) grade school for bringing a toy gun or anything resembling a gun.
The Washington Post just found the latest wild overreaction, from Calvert County, Maryland, a blue state that’s cracked down on gun rights. “A kindergartner who brought a cowboy-style cap gun onto his Calvert County school bus was suspended for 10 days after showing a friend the orange-tipped toy, which he had tucked inside his backpack on his way to school,” according to the family.
The Washington Post on Friday stuck to its practice of keeping oversight hearings off the front page. On A-3, readers would learn Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the Senate, and the new IRS chief was being questioned about lavish spending in the House.
The Post did lead with the data-mining story (perhaps that’s a Bush/Obama scandal, not an Obama scandal), but also carried front-page stories on an openly gay track star at a local high school and a New York Post-like story on “the puzzling case of the pizzeria patio pilferer.”
As I've noted before, Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Anne Gearan has demonstrated in the past a penchant for hagiographic coverage of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Well, yesterday Gearan turned her puffery to work for Susan Rice the outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations whose dutiful peddling of fallacious talking points after the 9/11 Benghazi attack ultimately doomed her nomination to succeed Clinton at Foggy Bottom.
Gearan devoted her 17 paragraphs story to explaining to readers of the June 6 Washington Post how "Rice, known for [her] toughness, has [her] work cut out for her" as the president's new national security advisor, a possible that does not require Senate confirmation. Apart from a brief reference to how Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) remain critical of her, the vast bulk of the story was strewn with glowing references to Rice, particularly from Democratic defenders (emphasis mine):
The Washington Post played a game of “Hide the Benghazi” in its front-page story on Obama nominating Susan Rice to be the new National Security Adviser. The headline beat around the bush: “Obama signals new approach on national security: A Bigger U.S. Role Abroad. In shuffle, Rice replaces Donilon as adviser.”
Reporter Scott Wilson announced “a major shuffle” and “an ideological shift” (let’s guess toward more humanitarian intervention). But you’d have to wait until paragraph twenty-two for the B-word:
For the second day in a row, The Washington Post showed it was bored by the IRS scandal by putting the hearings story inside the paper.
Instead, the top of Wednesday's post seized on the favorite liberal scandal du jour: "Military chiefs lament sex assaults but reject Senate bill." Their Post Express tabloid screamed this front-page headline: "CAN THE MILITARY CURE ITS 'CANCER'?"
The Washington Post’s continued interest with Rev. E.W. Jackson, the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor in Virginia, has entered into obsession territory. On Monday June 3, the Post ran another front-page story in the Metro section attempting to show controversy between Jackson and the GOP candidate for governor, Ken Cuccinelli over whether Cuccinelli suggested to Jackson that he run for lieutenant governor back in 2010.
In total, the Post devoted 32-paragraphs to Jackson as opposed to just 16 paragraphs focusing on the Democrats vying to run against Jackson in what was essentially a fluff piece. After spending the first 6-paragraphs discussing the supposed controversy, the Post’s Errin Whack spent the next 26-paragraphs rehashing some of Jackson’s “extreme” comments. Apparently the Post finds it “extreme” that a Christian minister like Jackson is true to his faith and promotes pro-life values.
The Washington Post offered a roundup of commencement speech wisdom on the front of Saturday’s Style section. It started with Oprah Winfrey urging the graduates of Harvard to think broadly enough to “have more face-to-face conversations with people you may disagree with.”
That’s really not a principle at work inside the liberal media. CBS left that clip out in hailing Oprah's speech on Friday. The only wise people on the Post’s speaker list were liberals they agree with:
The New York Times may have rebuffed Attorney General Eric Holder’s off-the-record meeting with journalists about leak investigations, but they displayed how they really weren’t angry by burying an actual account of that meeting inside Friday’s paper, while the front page carried stories like “A New Step in Wrestling With the Bra.”
Perhaps the most surprising judgment of what was front page-worthy was an obituary for Father Andrew Greeley, as if he were the Cardinal of Chicago. The Washington Post summed him up well: “an iconoclastic priest and sociologist who irked the Catholic hierarchy by writing best-selling novels that featured churchly misdeeds and graphic sex.” He was also a liberal newspaper columnist. Greeley's “New Deal liberalism” equals newsworthy?
It was only two days ago that one of Charlie Rose’s guests, Politico’s Jim VandeHei, celebrated the disappearance of many outspoken Republicans from the political scene. On last night’s show, Rose invited on a pair of brash Democrats who vanished from Congress recently: former Sen. Chris Dodd and former Rep. Barney Frank.
The former lawmakers were there to discuss the 2010 financial regulatory reform law that bears their names. Rose’s third guest, Robert Kaiser of The Washington Post, recently wrote a book about the Dodd-Frank Act’s journey from conception to passage. Wouldn't you know it, Kaiser was there to sing the praises of the Democrats appearing on the program, hailing the Dodd-Frank Act as a sort of congressional triumph over partisan politics. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
For a second night on Thursday, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on his The Last Word show tried to blame NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre for inspiring the ricin-tainted letters recently sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and President Barack Obama. The MSNBC host teased the show:
Although he should have a little bit of latitude as a news columnist for the Washington Post over, say, an ostensibly objective staff reporter, Dana Milbank made abundantly clear on the Thursday edition if PoliticsNation that he has a complete disregard for any sense of fairness or objectivity.
Milbank blasted Republican senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and other as “children,” telling MSNBC host Al Sharpton he should just accept the need to “be patient” with them, sounding like someone counseling an exasperated mother trying to discipline her toddler.
The liberal media’s paranoia that “climate change” will have disastrous consequences for our planet has reached new heights in an May 31 article in the front section of The Washington Post. In a 14-paragraph piece for the Washington Forum opinion page, the Post carried the lament of Phillip Muller, the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, to groan that the very livelihood of his people is in jeopardy.
Of course, Muller is angling for, what else, cash from various governments, including the U.S., and accordingly from the American taxpayer.
On Thursday night’s O’Reilly Factor, the Fox News host opened the show by attacking former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman for visiting the White House 157 times, almost four times as many appearances as Hillary Clinton. O’Reilly hinted this was a “smoking gun” of the White House running the IRS harassment campaign of the Tea Party.
But guess what: this fact of Shulman’s well-worn path to the White House gates has yet to be reported by ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS. O’Reilly can’t believe this number:
Even when TV shows are green-lighted in new and daring online forums, they still have a liberal bias! Emily Yahr of The Washington Post reports Amazon Studios has approved two new comedies, and one of them is “Alpha House,” a satire of a rental house of four oafish Republican senators "living like frat brothers" by liberal “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau. The headliner is John Goodman. The Post headline was “Fresh wit, streaming in.”
Yahr revealed there’s another conservative-bashing journalist in the show’s credits, longtime Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter, who convinced Trudeau to take his old network TV pilot idea out of mothballs:
The New Republic has easily demonstrated just how ridiculous The Washington Post's book review of the new Dan Savage is to claim that “reconciliation is at the heart of everything Savage writes and says.”
In "The Waning Power of Dan Savage," Daniel D'Addario dismisses the new book as "a very public act of self-love." Later, he explained "The nadir of American Savage comes when Savage prints a one-act play called 'Jesus and the Huge A--hole,' about religious objectors to Obamacare." Jesus swears like a Savage:
"When First Amendment advocates say Rosen was "falsely" characterized as a co-conspirator, they do not understand the law," huffed Pincus. "When others claim this investigation is 'intimidating a growing number of government sources,' they don't understand history." Lucky for us we have Pincus to school us all, I suppose. But the fact remains that when you consider the timeline of the investigation, there appears to be no legitimate reason for the FBI to have gone on a fishing expedition through Rosen's emails and phone records, considering what they already knew from their investigation of government records that narrowed down the leak to one suspect: intelligence adviser Stephen Jin-Woo Kim.
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, John Dickerson spun a front page scoop from the Washington Post that spotlighted the several private meetings that a top Obama health care adviser had with investment firms on the future implementation of ObamaCare: "It's a little hard to see what those investment firms got that wasn't already publicly available."
The liberal CBS political director brushed aside concerns that "some traders are gaining access to information that is not available to investors in general or the wider public", as Post writer Tom Hamburger outlined in his Sunday article. Dickerson asserted, "There's a lot of information exchange that wouldn't necessarily have to be sinister."
Eager to reset the political discussion away from scandal and in a manner that promotes Barack Obama as an almost apolitical statesman, MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning turned to a liberal Washington Post columnist who praised the president as a “middle-of-the-road liberal" dominated by Republican who have “gone way to the right” of their own party historically.
E.J. Dionne was brought on the Tuesday edition of MSNBC's morning show to defend his argument in Sunday's Washington Post op-ed that the president “wants to invite the nation to reason together with him.” Defending the president's scandal-ridden administration, Dionne absurdly pouted that:
For the first time in 140 years, the GOP in North Carolina controls both chambers of the state legislature and the governor’s mansion, a feat that many find surprising for a state that up until 2008 had not voted for a Democrat for President since Jimmy Carter in 1976. The May 26 edition of The Washington Post chose not to describe this as local politics in the Tar Heel State catching up with its federal voting patterns but rather an example of a “hard turn to the right.”
In a 25-paragraph front page article, author Michael Fletcher lamented the state’s changing political dynamic, highlighting the “dozens of liberal demonstrators” who are “subjecting themselves to arrest each Monday at the state legislature” before going into details of how the North Carolina GOP capitalized on the state’s poor economy during Democratic stewardship to capture the legislature and governorship.
Code Pink's Media Benjamin managed to break into another presidential event on Thursday, namely Barack Obama's speech at the National Defense University. The topic was "U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy," meaning that the administration's aversion to the T-word seems to be diminishing as the damaging scandal-related news continues to pour in.
Readers will see that Benjamin was relatively civil towards Obama. In fact, Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons at the Los Angeles Times wrote the following: "Rather than dismiss Benjamin as a heckler, the president engaged her, asking her to let him explain but also pausing to listen as she continued to talk while security closed in around her." That behavior is in direct contrast to how she behaved last decade during the Bush administration -- something never mentioned in any coverage of Thursday's speech I found. The full exchange with Obama followed by a recounting of what made Benjamin an overnight sensation in Sepetmber 2002, follow the jump.
“Liberal media bias is an old complaint,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto noted in his “Best of the Web Today” column this past Monday on responses to the Obama scandals, before warning: “The Obama presidency has given it a new and dangerous form. Never has the prevailing bias of the media been so closely aligned with the ideological aims and political interests of the party in power.”
He recognized “the American media remain free and independent, or you would not be reading this column,” but zinged, “to a large extent they have functioned for the past few years as if they were under state control.”
The Washington Post carried a huge, almost life-size picture of Jay Carney’s head in the Style section on Friday. But it was designed as a pick-me-up for the embattled Obama spinner. It was a story about...Carney and his favorite rock band.
“Benghazi and the IRS have kept Carney scrambling, and he hasn’t had much time to listen to ‘English Little League,’ the latest album from the Ohio indie-rock band [Guided by Voices] he has affectionately name-dropped in more than one news briefing.” Critics want Carney canned, but the Post wants him to feel happy about the “beer-soaked brilliance” of his favorite rockers:
One obvious question which occurred to me and I suspect others when I read Ann Marimow's first account at the Washington Post dated May 19 of the search warrant issued in 2009 for the personal emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen was: "Where has this thing been hiding?"
The "Affadavit for Search Warrant" is dated May 28, 2010. Why did it come out just this week? Marimow didn't say. More stories followed, still without explanation. It's not unreasonable to believe that the Post might have sat on knowledge of its existence, and that someone who works at the U.S. Court may have deliberately worked to keep it invisible for 18 months after it was supposed to have been unsealed in November 2011.
Believe it or not, none of the largest national newspapers put an article on Wednesday’s IRS hearings on the front page. The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal had a picture of Lois Lerner, but sent the reader to an inside page for the story. The New York Times and USA Today offered no picture, either.
USA Today has an excuse: it put Lerner taking the Fifth on Wednesday’s front page in a preview. But The New York Times only put this taxpayer scandal on Page One: “Europe Pushes to Shed Stigma Of a Tax Haven.” Oh, heavens forbid. Andrew Higgins championed a “sweeping global assault on tax evasion,” starting in Luxembourg.
As the Obama staff labors to deny they’re waging what’s being called “Obama’s war on journalism,” it might not help to have journalists mocked as fussy “figure skating judges.”
In today’s Washington Post that’s what we read from David Plouffe as he defended the White House from the “minutiae” that the White House counsel urgently wanted to keep Obama clueless about a Treasury Department inspector general’s report on the IRS scandal:
Up until now, the funniest thing Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has said in the Obama years is “I think the media would love to have an Obama scandal to cover.” Well, Milbank has finally found a scandal that upsets him: the leak investigation of Fox News reporter James Rosen.
“The Rosen affair is as flagrant an assault on civil liberties as anything done by George W. Bush’s administration, and it uses technology to silence critics in a way Richard Nixon could only have dreamed of.” It’s shaking Milbank’s confidence that the other Obama scandals aren’t scandals:
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday's front page that their ABC-Post poll showed Obama’s approval rating remained steady, with 51 percent approving and 44 percent disapproving. Then came the Post polling comparison to uncaring Republicans. Dan Balz and Jon Cohen reported: “A bare majority of Americans say they believe that Obama is focused on issues that are important to them personally; just 33 percent think so of congressional Republicans.” They illustrated that 18-point gap with a graph.
Should we draw from this question that lying to the public and using the imposing powers of the IRS to thwart conservative groups aren’t issues that the people need to care about? Would the Post have asked this question during the Watergate scandal? Or Iran-Contra? Inside the Post, their graphics relayed that 74 percent of the sample felt the IRS targeting was “inappropriate.”'
But all that doesn't matter to the Post's Walter Pincus, who dutifully defended Team Obama in his May 21 column, "AP leak investigation less clear-cut than the uproar." It seems the national security correspondent and columnist doesn't mind an intrusive, secret investigation, now and then, so long as it's in service of aiding a liberal president or undermining a conservative one as in the now-infamous Valerie Plame case (emphasis mine):