Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz gives readers of today's Style page a look at conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, and his portrait, at least to my eye, painted conservative blogger and author as paranoid, vindictive, obsessive and shrill.
The Washington Post's Amit Paley did an excellent job giving a balanced, factual report just four days ago on a recent stock sale by Sallie Mae chairman Albert Lord. His February 14 Business section article, however, is a different matter. Instead of digging for evidence on both sides, Paley relayed Democratic complaints and clipped a quote from a company spokesman.
Washington Post arts reporter Jacqueline Trescott reports on the front page of the Style section today that the Smithsonian Institution (with its fresh new contract with the Showtime cable network) is shutting Oliver North's Fox News Channel cameras out:
The Smithsonian Institution rejected a request from Oliver North to film a stand-up in front of the Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb. This is the latest flap in the Smithsonian's development of programming for a cable television network.
North, who hosts a Fox News Channel series called "War Stories," returned fire, condemning the Smithsonian's decision. He said in an opinion column that the museum's action raises questions about the propriety of the contract between Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian, which limits access of film crews.
Trescott's story is a reasonable recounting of the battle -- first revealed in North's column in Sunday's Washington Times. (Be sure that the Post hates following in the wake of the conservative Times.) But she omits a crucial fact: the Smithsonian institution is private, but receives most of its funding from the federal government.
U.S. Tax Revenues Up 9.7% Through Four Months, Deficit Down 57%; U.S. Media Outlets Mostly Ignore the News
There's a good chance you didn't hear about this (original US Treasury report is here):
Both Brian Wesbury at FT Portfolios and yours truly have to confess to being wrong so far this year on revenue growth. We both have been thinking (Wesbury here, BizzyBlog here) that it’s going to come in at 9%, but as you see, through four months it’s actually pushing 10%.
Rock radio listeners in the Washington DC area noticed when CBS's classic-rock FM station WARW mixed recent songs in with the oldies and started calling itself "The Globe." It's not just a moniker, it's a marketing strategy. CBS is going to power the station with slightly more expensive wind-generated power. In The Washington Post business section Monday, reporter Frank Ahrens says radio always tries to capitalize on the "cultural trends of the moment," and that Al Gore-style eco-panic is firmly in the "mainstream" now:
The WARW format switch also demonstrates how environmentalism has moved to the political center. Thirty years ago, it was considered fringe. Even five years ago, it would have been highly unlikely for a mainstream commercial radio station to align itself with concerns over global warming -- too crunchy for most listeners. Now, WARW thinks such branding might increase its ratings, as environmentalism -- like recycling -- carries a positive and widely popular connotation. Even Wal-Mart buys wind power.
As NewsBusters reported Friday, the Pentagon on Thursday released its much-anticipated analysis concerning prewar intelligence. It was pointed out that there was a wide array of takes on this report, and that, in particular, Walter Pincus of the Washington Post presented a rather negative impression of the Bush administration in his front-page story on this issue.
Well, it turns out that Pincus’s article incorrectly attributed quotes to this report that were actually taken from statements made inOctober 2004 by Democrat Senator Carl Levin. The Post has issued the following correction (h/t NB member Steve L., emphasis mine throughout):
CNN isn't the only media outlet reporting on the anti-religious John Edwards campaign bloggers in a painfully incomplete manner. Howard Kurtz carved out a little space deep in today's Washington Post Style section (on page C-7) for a story headlined "John Edwards Keeps Controversial Bloggers." Although bloggers on both sides are identified by labels, there's no ideological "liberal" or "feminist" label used for the Silky Pony's poison pens:
Former senator John Edwards said yesterday that while he is offended by some inflammatory remarks written by two bloggers before he hired them for his presidential campaign, he is keeping them on anyway.
Political correctness is on the march again in the Washington Post sports section. In a column highlighted on the Post home page today with the headline "Sexuality Disclosed, Ignorance Exposed," sports writer Michael Wilbon uses former NBA player John Amaechi's coming out as gay as an opportunity to bludgeon the "ignorance" of anyone who would offer a discouraging word.
If we're lucky, the men and women who are both enlightened and emboldened will not only be supportive but will drown out the knuckleheads and Neanderthals and everybody who wants to slow the march of progress. Even one step away from tolerance, whether we're talking about race, gender, religious beliefs or sexuality, simply slows the march to the day when none of this stuff matters.
President Bush visited a Micron Technology factory in Manassas, Virginia on Wednesday, about 35 miles from the White House. The Washington Post wouldn't have found much use to cover the visit -- unless there was something embarrassing. The caption on the front of the Thursday Prince William Extra section had it: "Bush made a canned crack about potholes in Manassas, despite arriving by helicopter at the Micron campus."
Bush joked with the mayor of Manassas about fixing the potholes, a throw-away gibe. But reporter Christy Goodman spent a good chunk of her article on the Micron visit focused on Bush's rude "canned wisecrack." The mayor told the Post he wanted to tell Bush "we don't have potholes in Manassas." Baloney. I live about a mile west of the Micron plant, and a year or two ago, I lost a tire due to a pothole near that factory at the intersection of Wellington Road and Godwin Drive (pothole since fixed). Here's how Goodman chronicled Bush's insensitivity:
Jose Antonio Vargas covered the Washington Press Club Foundation dinner in the capital last night for The Washington Post, and the liberals were handing over the highest compliments to one honoree, long-standing leftist UPI reporter Helen Thomas, now a Hearst columnist and author of a book scolding the rest of the press corps for being Bush tools:
On behalf of the House of Representatives, we salute Helen Thomas," said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. "You could have gotten [this award] over and over again, Helen."
"One of the greatest reporters in the history of the republic," Kennedy called her.
I guess to show he is a real meterosexual, Milbank starts his piece off with an observation on Bremer’s choice of footwear and draws the wild conclusion that it must say something about his mental state.
Jerry Bremer wore black dress shoes instead of his trademark combat boots yesterday as he testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. But except for that concession, the former American viceroy of Iraq had lost none of his swagger.
Rajiv Chandrasekaran was the Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post during the tenure of Paul Bremer as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in the period succeeding the removal of Saddam Hussein. Chandrasekaran is the author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City, a book generally critical of Bremer's administration -- but apparently not critical enough for Chris Matthews. Chandrasekaran was Matthews' guest on today's Hardball.
At one point, Matthews launched this vulgar leading question about Bremer:
"Did this guy blow it? Was he a joke? Was he an arse on a golden horse?"
While the blog world churns over washingtonpost.com blogger William Arkin, the "On Balance" blog at the same website has a guest column today from Steve Fox, a former national political editor at the Post website about sharing 9/11 facts with his 8-year-old son. "On Balance" isn't about media bias -- it's about balancing work and family -- but Fox certainly demonstrated his political take, since his son was soon suggesting he would throw the F-bomb at President Bush:
My eight-year-old son recently came home with a book titled: September 11, 2001: The Day That Changed America.
My first reaction: What's THAT book doing in an elementary school? Then I remembered that whole censorship thing. As a journalist, I'm supposed to be against that. As a parent, I want all 9/11 books moved to the middle school library.
Never let it be said that politicians are the only ones who side-step the hardball questions in Washington. In today's Post Politics Hour chat at washingtonpost.com, reporter Peter Baker had a no-comment answer on WashPost blogger William Arkin's anti-troops fulminating:
Greenville, S.C.: Yo Peter -- you got any problems with your colleague William Arkin writing an entire column based on the American troops in Iraq being mercenaries and then, after taking a lot of heat, saying words to the effect of "I probably should not have used the word 'mercenary'"? Is this the kind of diversity The Washington Post is looking for?
Peter Baker: Sorry, this is beyond my field. William Arkin writes for the web site and this is a question better directed to the editors there.
Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly was on the warpath Monday evening, and with good reason.
The targets of his disaffection were NBC News, GE, and most vehemently, the Washington Post and William Arkin for the latter’s disgracefully disrespectful article about America’s troops published on January 30.
O’Reilly began (video available here, hat tips to Hot Air and LGF): “In a stunning display of hatred, NBC News military analyst William Arkin wrote two Internet columns chastising members of the United States Armed Forces for daring to criticize civilian dissenters of the Iraq war.”
After reading some of the offending passages, O’Reilly released the hounds:
In her Sunday Ombudsman column in the Washington Post, Deborah Howell sounds more like a journalist's advocate than a reader's advocate, lamenting that reporters draw complaints about covering a protest no matter what: "Organizers often inflate the number of participants, and there will be complaints no matter how a demonstration is covered or displayed." Howell was also quick to defend the divergence in Post coverage of the March for Life vs. the latest Out-of-Iraq march. The liberal event was "worth Page 1," while "This is the 34th anniversary of that [Roe v. Wade] decision and not a reason to put the event on Page 1 in my book."
I would not argue that the March for Life was a Page 1 story this year, especially with the liberal takeover of both houses of Congress. I would argue that the Bush-bashing anti-Iraq war march was NOT page 1 material. Anti-Bush marches have not become a strictly annual routine like the March for Life, but they have been regular enough to be less newsworthy on each new occasion. Is this new Jane Fonda march really Earth-shattering material, even with liberal control of Congress? All Democrats are doing is trying to pass NON-binding resolutions. How much does a march change the equation?
Sunday's Washington Post Magazine had another one of those true Post chestnuts, chronicling how cruel and backward the state of Virginia is to lesbians. April Witt's story focused on two women who entered into a civil union in Vermont now battling for custody of an artificially inseminated daughter. Vermont says Janet the lesbian partner is automatically a parent, Virginia says not so fast. The story contained several elements that the gay left does not appreciate -- Lisa the birth mother left behind homosexuality and embraced Christianity, and the story mentions ex-gay authors and ministries. But it also carried the classic tendency to divide the ideological combat between "conservatives" and not liberals, but "gay rights activists," activists whose work is in historic "landmark" cases.
The trend starts early in the story: "On one side are lawyers who are leading gay-rights activists; on the other are legal combatants for a conservative Christian foundation associated with Jerry Falwell."
Ain't technology wunnerful? I mean, it saves all that wear and tear on the VW Mini-Bus, saves the trees that would otherwise be cut down for anti-war signs, the paint, the tye-dying of shirts, the buying of sandals... heck all sorts of things and time can be saved because the World Wide Web has brought technology to leftist activism!
I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
It's also a great thing that those evil, rotten, Nazi, CONSERVATIVES have not discovered the WWW as a place to gather their forces. It's so heart warming that the left can, at long last, use technology for good instead of evil.
Or so it seems the Washington Post imagines the world has been set to rights because today a charming article has appeared in their paper letting us know that hey have found the "perfect example of how antiwar is waged in the Internet age." Or at least so says Jennifer Earl in "Where Have All the Protests Gone? Online".
Yesterday's Employment Situation Summary from the Bureaus of Labor Statistics told us that reports 111,000 net new jobs were added in January. Additionally, significant upward revisions were made to the previously reported job-increase figures from November (up 42,000 to 196,000 from last month’s revised 154,000) and December (up 39,000 to 206,000 from last month’s originally reported 167,000). So with revisions, there were 192,000 more people working (111+42+39) at the end of January than were thought to be working as of the end of December, and 513,000 more (111+196+206) than three months ago.
It gets better.
In that same Employment Situation Summary released yesterday, the BLS reported on its "Annual Revisions to Establishment Survey Data." Doesn't sound like much, but read the fine print:
In accordance with annual practice, the establishment survey data have been revised to reflect comprehensive universe counts of payroll jobs, or benchmarks. These counts are derived principally from unemployment insurance tax records for March 2006. As a result of the benchmark process, all not seasonally adjusted data series were subject to revision from April 2005 forward, the time period since the last benchmark was established.
The total nonfarm employment level for March 2006 was revised upward by 752,000 (754,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis). The previously published level for December 2006 was revised upward by 981,000 (933,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis).
In other words, BLS "found" well over 900,000 more jobs, most of which (averaging about 63,000 per month) were added between April 2005 and March 2006. This was a time during which the "weak job growth" meme still had life in it. BLS's Annual Revision shows that the meme had no validity during that time.
So how does job growth during the Bush years look after incorporating the Annual Revision? Well, even more "Clintonian" than when I last looked at it a month ago:
The amazing liberal vapors over President Bush’s use of the word "Democrat" to describe, er, Democrats, continues. In an NPR interview with Juan Williams, President Bush claimed it was a simple mistake in his State of the Union speech, but liberals quickly found more of these grievous offenses in searching speech texts at the White House website. Certain left-wing media critics who lay face down in worship at the feet of Hillary Clinton are now insisting that the word "Democrat" is a "smear" and an "oft-used Republican slur." The Washington Post and The New York Times each produced stories on Bush's denial of this microscopic scandal. (Clay Waters handled it at Times Watch here.)
But my favorite fuss comes from former Newsweek reporter and Carter speechwriter Hendrik Hertzberg at The New Yorker, who says the plain D-word is "jarring verging on ugly. It fairly screams ‘rat.’" He then imagined Republicans want to destroy the Democrats like Israel’s enemies want to wipe out Israel, and compared them to a street gang:
Half-serious warning: those with heart conditions are advised to have their medications handy when reading this.
With Democrats in congressional power, are leftists feeling suddenly empowered to express formerly taboo views? First came a column in the Los Angeles Times arguing we have overreacted to 9-11. Now comes Washington Post columnist William Arkin to express contempt for our troops and question how much we really owe them after all.
"I've been mulling over an NBC Nightly News report from Iraq last Friday in which a number of soldiers expressed frustration with opposition to war in the United States. I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to them why it wasn't for them to disapprove of the American people."
"These soldiers should be grateful that the American public, which by all polls overwhelmingly disapproves of the Iraq war and the President's handling of it, do still offer their support to them, and their respect."
"Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform, accepting that the incidents were the product of bad apples or even of some administration or command order."
"We pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?"
Most media storylines on the economy are predictable. Tax cuts "cost" the government money. The wealthy don't pay their fair share, and, socialized medicine is the only comprehensive way to address health care problems.
That last one's been in vogue lately as Democrats have raised health care as part of their "100 Hours" agenda. So our very own Julia Seymour took a look at the media's push for Big Brother to play doctor to 300 million Americans.
But then there's the ones that are just patently laughable. Like where the media pick the interests of say fish, over people. Look to none other than our friends at The Washington Post for that one. You can find our writeup on that here.:
Does Barack Obama have a thick enough skin to survive another nineteen months of constant media attention and scrutiny on the presidential campaign trail?
An article by the Washington Post’s Mary Ann Akers has to make one wonder (emphasis mine throughout):
Sources tell The Sleuth that the Obama camp has "frozen out" Fox News reporters and producers in the wake of the network's major screw-up in running with the erroneous Obama-the-jihadist story reported by Insight magazine.
Please tell us more, Sleuthy. As you might imagine given the subject matter, we're all ears:
I'm feeling a lot of love out there. Directed by the MSM toward Joe Biden, that is, for having called Barack Obama the first "clean" and "articulate" black presidential candidate. Earlier this evening, as noted here, Chris Matthews, joined by MSMers Jay Carney and Anne Kornblut, cut Biden mucho slack.
The forgive-a-thon continued on Countdown. First, Keith Olbermann declared Biden's comments "a slip." Washington Poster Dana Milbank then got into the evening's understanding zeitgeist, assuring us that "nobody sees Joe Biden as a racist."
Olbermann spun a theory that "the conservative media establishment" including "bloggers" who are "doing a lot of Biden bashing today" are motivated not by outrage over Biden's comments but by "a desire to inflict damage on a Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee."
Let's play one of our favorite parlor games: "WIARHSI?" You know: "What if a Republican Had Said It?" In today's game, let's imagine what would happen if a Republican presidential candidate had said that Barack Obama was the first "clean" and "articulate" African-American presidential candidate?
Which paper would be first to call for the Republican's withdrawal from the race: the NY Times, Boston Globe, WaPo, other?
How soon until Jesse Jackson, Carol Moseley-Braun and Al Sharpton turned up on TV to be asked how they felt about being insulted in this way?
How many hours of MSM musing over the GOP's "history of racial insensitivity"; how many replays of Trent Lott making his statement about Strom Thurmond, of George Allen's 'macaca' moment, etc., would we be subjected to over the ensuing week?
How long until the hapless Republican did indeed withdraw from the race?
But when it's a Democrat . . . count on Chris Matthews, for one, to circle the wagons.
Matthews had Anne Kornblut of the Washington Post and Jay Carney of Time magazine in as guests. The trio didn't even broach the Biden comments until a full ten minutes into their gab fest, after batting around a number of other issues. How long would Chris have waited to launch had it been a Republican on the hot seat?
WashPost political writer Shailagh Murray's online Political Chats are usually good for a liberal zinger or two. Here's Monday's cinematic zinger, carrying a vinegary bouquet of Hollywood-centric New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd:
Alexandria, Va.: In the spirit of "Dance With Who Brung Ya," all loyal Republicans should support Bush's war plan.
Shailagh Murray: At the moment it's looking more like Thelma and Louise, but that's certainly one school of thought.
Republicans are fugitive criminals driving off a cliff?
Personally, I'd rather suggest that considering its feminist and empowering subject matter, "Thelma and Louise" is a better subtext for Hillary Clinton's failed health care initiative in 1994. Hillary thinks it's a political consultant's horror film called "Harry and Louise," but it was more "Thelma and Louise."
After a cozy recounting of the launch of The Politico newspaper (run by ex-Posties), Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz noted leftist radio host Ed Schultz's complaint that Hillary Clinton is inaccessible, and passed on the official response from Team Hillary: "Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines says his boss has 'happily appeared' on Schultz's show at least half a dozen times, including her first national radio interview after being reelected."
That's apparently not enough. On Friday morning's Bill Press radio show, Schultz complained that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has appeared on his show 16 times in the last ten months. He apparently wants frequent access -- and he said it only makes sense, since Hillary was so crucial in creating progressive talk radio. He also slammed John Kerry, believing he would have done better in 2004 with more progressive radio interviews. Ed Schultz, king-maker?
The Washington Post not only felt the need to praise the seriousness and maturity of Jane Fonda. It saw in her attendance at Saturday's Bush-bashing fiesta a "stamp of maturity and seriousness" on the hard left "anti-war" movement as a whole.
Post writer Linton Weeks remembered when Fonda first "spoke out for peace" against the Vietnam War, and how she has changed, like America, from activist to exercise maven to "post-feminist arm candy" for Ted Turner.
Yesterday, with her daughter, Vanessa Vadim, and two grandchildren nearby, she was again front and center as actress, feminist and opponent of war.
Within one week, the liberal bias of the The Washington Post is made perfectly obvious. On Monday, tens of thousands of protesters emerged on Washington for the March for Life, but the hometown paper put the story on the bottom of page A-10 Tuesday morning. On Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters emerged on Washington for a rally against President Bush and the war in Iraq. The Post blasted that story across the front page on Sunday, complete with a large color picture taking a wide shot of hundreds of marchers and their signs and banners. Tuesday’s story on abortion protests matched carried no wide shot of hundreds. It showed four pro-life marchers, and matched them with another picture of five feminists counter-protesting. There were no photos of conservative counter-protesters in the Sunday paper.
The Post not only let the anti-Iraq rally dominate the front page, but devoted an entire page (A-8) to more photos and a story on student protesters. The front-page story carried over to most of page A-9. Jane Fonda’s appearance at the march drew another story, placed on the front page of the Style section.
I won't let the week end without a fisking of the Washington Post's silly global warming op-ed Monday by in-house writer Sebastian Mallaby.
Mallaby says: "While the White House was sorting out its message, the rest of Washington was busy. Over at the Reagan building, a conference on carbon trading sold 600 tickets at $595 a pop and turned away 150 executives hungry to study the intricacies of permit allocation."
Response: Hungry to study the green -- or to reap the green? People who understand the global warming debate more than superficially have long known there is a constituency among profit-seekers to impose cap and trade. There is money to be made, even though cap and trade would hurt the economy, and especially harm low-income individuals and families and small businesses operating at the margin. There's a reason Enron pushed so hard for Kyoto and other limits on carbon -- that reason is money. We now speak of Enron's green-fingered successors.