Newly minted Newsweek editor Jon Meacham is promoting liberal former Sen. John Danforth again in a Sunday book review in The Washington Post. He's also praising a new book called The Politics of Jesus by Obery Hendricks Jr. (The subtitle's all about Jesus as a political revolutionary.) Like many other liberal journalists, Meacham is desperately seeking someone to convince traditionally religious Americans that they shouldn't be giving their votes to conservatives. So they cheer a whole series of "intellectually stimulating" books that lamely attempt to recruit traditionalist Christians and Jews to vote for the loosey-goosey libertine party:
Hendricks's Christian manifesto for a politically liberal vision of America and of the world arrives at an especially rich moment in the long-running debate over the role of religion in the nation's public life. After roughly three decades of largely ceding the language of faith to political conservatives, liberals are mounting an aggressive and often intellectually stimulating counterattack.
To their credit, The Washington Post took up the issue of sex-themed T-shirts at local high schools on the front page Tuesday. It makes you wonder who the most worrisome tastemakers are, the T-shirt makers, or some children's parents:
Allison Wynn, 17, a senior at Osbourn Park High School in Prince William County...said she is fond of wearing a shirt that says, "Don't Call Me a Cowgirl Until You See Me Ride." Joanne Wynn said her daughter's shirts are humorous. "If it's not in good taste, I don't let [her] wear it," she said.
Mrs. Graham e-mailed me about how the local Top 40 station made this mildly conservative story its main topic of conversation. They had people calling in talking about their own T-shirts. They mentioned that you can buy baby "onesies" with sayings on them too.
As Clarice Feldman points out here at The American Thinker, after weeks of front page coverage of allegations of racism against Senator George Allen in the Virginia Senate race, the Washington Post suddenly reversed course and used an editorial to suggest enough is enough, but only after serious allegations of irresponsible and potentially racist behavior on the part of Democrat Jim Webb surfaced.
After countless front page Washington Post stories overplaying Sen. Allen’s “Macaca” remark, and extensive coverage of charges against Allen, obviously orchestrated by Professor Sabato (who seems to have retreated from claims suggesting he had personal knowledge of Allen’s racism), a story has emerged about Webb’s racism which is more direct and damning.
In Thursday’s Washington Post, deep inside a story on page B-2, the George Allen campaign provided a man named Dan Cragg, a former acquaintance of Allen’s Democratic challenger, Jim Webb. Cragg said Webb used the N-word "while describing his own behavior during his freshman year at the University of Southern California in the early 1960s...[Cragg said] Webb described taking drives through the black neighborhood of Watts, where he and members of his ROTC unit used racial epithets and pointed fake guns at blacks to scare them."
The Post puts this in the eighth paragraph of a Michael Shear story on the front of Metro headlined "Webb Denies Ever Using Word As Epithet." The subhead was "Racial Slur Overshadowing All Else in Contest."
A. telling a story in which the n-word is liberally used, or
B. driving through a black neighborhood, flaunting rifles and yelling racial epithets?
I'm going with 'B.' So why did Chris Matthews devote the first half of this afternoon's "Hardball" to the n-word story, and not one second to the driving-through-the-black-neighborhood story?
You don't suppose, do you, that it could have anything to do with the fact that 'A' concerns Republican George Allen, and 'B' his Dem challenger, James Webb?
Matthews opened Hardball with an extended segment featuring Patricia Waring, who in 1978 was apparently the wife of the coach of the University of Virginia rugby club team. She claims that, attending one game, she overheard George Allen telling a story in which he repeatedly used the n-word. She says she confronted him about it, asking him not to use the word.
The bottom half of today's Style section front page of the Washington Post screams "Hopelessly Transparent Liberal Newspaper." The goo-fest is at its most gooey in "The Democrats Charisma Doctor," David Montgomery's latest left-wing valentine, awarded to "superstar" Sen. Barack Obama and his "seductive lassitude."
On his weblog at TVWeek.com, Washington Post television critic Tom Shales defended Bill Clinton's "exhilarating kind of tension" to his fight with Chris Wallace, hoping the ex-President would "pop him one." Clinton was "energized and galvanizing; he spoke with force and finesse" and was "smart to come armed with articulate and persuasive responses." Wallace was a "baby" and "behaved like a sissy-pants" when he was attacked. Somehow, within a few sentences, Shales was attacking former CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg as "yelping like a dog" at his critics, and then Shales weirdly compared him to a radical Muslim: "It’s like the Islamic extremists who, if you call them prone to violence, threaten to kill you for insulting them."
So much for strength (or newsworthiness) in numbers. Inside Wednesday's Washington Post, reporter Michelle Boorstein covered a tiny protest inside the Hart Senate Office Building yesterday, where 35 were arrested. Last week, as many as 35,000 people protested in New York in support of Israel and against Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, featuring speakers like U.S. Ambassador John Bolton and Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel -- which the Post ignored.
The Boorstein article, complete with cover photo of a protester being removed in handcuffs, was strategically placed on A-14, just above the continuation of a heartbreaking article on the first female West Point graduate, a local woman, being killed in Iraq -- also accompanied by a color photo, of the burial. Boorstein reported on the Hart building protest in a typical way, where no one in attendance was the slightest bit liberal: "Dozens of police streamed into the atrium and arrested about 35 people, including Rick Ufford-Chase, who until recently was a top official of the Presbyterian Church (USA)."
The New York Times was routinely slow on any allegation of past adultery or even sexual assault by Bill Clinton, dismissing them as lacking convincing evidence, as "toxic waste" designed to damage his campaign. But when Democratic opponents of Sen. George Allen charged that Sen. George Allen used the word "nigger" in the past -- a very politically toxic matter -- the Times was quick to honor it as fit to print. On Tuesday, reporter David Kirkpatrick wrote a story for the top of page A-20 with two photos, headlined "2 Ex-Acquaintances of Senator Allen Say He Used Slurs."
The Times never did more than two paragraphs on the Allen campaign's distribution of an article in which Webb opposed women in combat. In a September 18 article touting Webb's "rising" campaign, Robin Toner put this in paragraphs 23 and 24: "In the past week, the Allen campaign has taken aim at Mr. Webb on two counts: highlighting his opposition, in an article he wrote 27 years ago, to women in combat and at the Naval Academy, and asserting that Mr. Webb has no right to use videotape of President Ronald Reagan praising him in a new television advertisement. On women in combat, Mr. Webb said that he was sorry for any pain his writing had caused, that times had changed, and that he should be judged by what he did in the intervening years to expand opportunities for women."
The Washington Post continued their media frenzy against Sen. George Allen Tuesday by putting charges from the left-wing website Salon.com that Allen used the word "nigger" freely as a young man on the top of the front page of the Metro section (at least in Virginia editions). The headline was "Allen Denies Using Epithet to Describe Blacks: Senator Accused of Making Racial Slur During and After College." The Post included horrified denials from Allen's first wife and college friends and teammates, but it had all the damaging flavor of "Allen Denies Beating Wife."
The story by Michael Shear and Tim Craig has at least two signs of bias. First, there's absolutely no comment from, and no mention of the Jim Webb campaign, even as his blogging staffers spread the racist rumors. Second, Salon.com is mentioned without any description of its ideology or history: "Salon.com is an Internet magazine of news and opinion." In the Clinton years, Salon.com often published information the Clinton White House employed against conservatives, such as revealing an old extramarital affair by conservative Republican Henry Hyde. Salon's publisher declared that "these are ugly times and they call for ugly measures."
On the Thursday, September 21, 2006, episode of his radio show, host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Thomas B. Edsall, who up until recently was a senior political reporter for the Washington Post. He had been with the paper for 25 years. Through precise and direct questioning by Hewitt, Edsall admitted something that is rarely heard from a liberal these days. In a shocking admission, Edsall articulated that the biases of the mainstream media are "overwhelmingly to the left." He also proposed that Democratic reporters outnumber Republicans "in the range of 15-25 to 1"!
In the interview, as Hewitt and Edsall discussed the rise of conservative talk radio and the biases of the mainstream media, Edsall stated the following:
EDSALL: ... I agree that whatever you want to call it, mainstream media, presents itself as unbiased, when in fact, there are built into it many biases, and they are overwhelmingly to the left.
The warring camps of Fox News and Team Clinton spoke out in the Washington Post on Monday morning. Howard Kurtz reported:
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said that he was stunned when Bill Clinton accused him of a "conservative hit job" after he challenged the former president on his record in fighting terrorism.
"I thought it was a fair, balanced and not especially inflammatory question," Wallace said yesterday in recounting his "Fox News Sunday" sit-down with Clinton. "I even said, 'I know hindsight is 20/20.' But he went off. And once he went off, there was no bringing him back. He wanted to talk about it in detail. He wanted to conjure up right-wingers and conservative hit jobs and a theory involving Rupert Murdoch that I still don't understand."
Liberal press critics are quite the paradox. Most such writers like Eric Alterman, Michael Wolffe, and Michael Massing, are pretty sophisticated about the media in non-political matters, but when it comes to politics, they can't help repeating a slightly toned down version of rhetoric you'll find over at the Daily Kos. They deny the press is tilted toward the left (ignoring scores of content studies and surveys of reporters) and yet they cheer when the media chooses to favor the left, as if that's the media's natural role. Which it is, of course--if you're a liberal
This line of thought is far too common among left-wing media critics. In an interview with the Huffington Post, writer Michael Massing provided a textbook example of it, arguing that the press has properly began pushing back against the Bush Administration while also saying that conservative critics are fundamentally wrong in their opinion of the media:
My working hypothesis on all this, which I have mentioned in some of
those articles, is that the more powerful the President, the more timid
the press. There's an inverse relationship between the popularity of
the President and the willingness of the press to challenge him. And
right now, Bush's popularity is very low. I think we're seeing the
press pushing back in a very strong way. If I were writing an article
today about what's been happening, I would say more about how the press
has been pushing back. And I think there's a big appetite for this
among readers. The Bush administration is so beleaguered and has done
so many things that have upset the public that the press sees an
opening and has been moving to take advantage of it.
Today's the last full day of astronomical summer, and so in a sidebar on the Metro page of the September 22 Washington Post, the paper gives its readers a few handy stats about the weather this meteorological summer (June 1-August 31).
[Meteorological summer is a convention commonly used to examine data that provides consistency from year to year rather than adhering to the slightly different dates for seasonal changes on the solstices and equinoxes.]
Anyway, in D.C. at least, it was only the 19th warmest on record, as recorded since 1871. What's more, the average temperature in summer was 78.5 degrees. Toasty, but not exactly scalding, except for the late July-early August heat wave, where 101 was the hottest temperature achieved in Washington on August 3.
Of course, it's the spikes in temperature, the heat waves, that the media latched on to to in order to mount the soap box on global warming.
It’s surprising that this column by the Washington Post’s David Broder on Thursday fell so far below the fold. After all, Broder had unkind things to say about virtually everybody that would have pleased and enraged both Democrats and Republicans alike. For instance, Broder didn’t have nice things to say about President Bush:
The country thought Bush was a pleasant, down-to-earth guy who would not rock the boat. Instead, swayed by some inner impulse or the influence of Dick Cheney, he has proved to be lawless and reckless. He started a war he cannot finish, drove the government into debt and repeatedly defied the Constitution.
Don’t mince words, David. Tell us what you really think. Fortunately, Broder’s attack wasn’t just on Bush:
Here's a few tidbits from the Style section of Friday's Washington Post. Paul Farhi reports that NPR has a new CEO. It's executive vice president Ken Stern, who will replace Kevin Klose on October 1. Only at the end of the short article are we told Stern "was deputy general counsel for President Clinton's 1996 reelection campaign." Stern's official NPR bio also notes he was "chief counsel for the 53rd Presidential Inaugural Committee," Clinton's second inauguration.
Book reviewer Carolyn See has taken a strong liking to Arianna Huffington. She even claimed sexism was responsible for people disliking her: "She's that social climber with the funny accent who married some rich Republican who tried to buy a Senate seat. When that failed, they separated, and she switched political sides. Then she gave many Gatsby-style parties, invited everyone, got a newspaper column and set up a blog called the Huffington Post. Groan. People don't care much for women who think, and it's not only men who get creeped out: If a woman like that disagrees with you -- and has the nerve to say so out loud -- it's more than possible that she may be right." See is wrong.
The New York Times and Washington Post are now attacking provisions of a defense appropriations bill that would ensure that military chaplains can pray in accordance with their own personal beliefs (i.e., pray in the name of Jesus). A Times editorial calls the bill “an attempt to license zealot chaplains to violate policies of religious tolerance.”
A Washington Post article goes a step farther – calling for calling for a “no prayer” policy at public events, according to an article in CNSNews.com, saying the “best resolution” (to its perceived problem) is to “discourage prayer…as inherently and unnecessarily divisive.”
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has released its list of media and elected “elitists” who are doing the most to prevent passage of meaningful immigration reform. This “motley crew” of media organizations that promote “unfettered immigration” and are completely out of touch with public opinion include (who else?) the New York Times and the Washington Post…and, even the Wall Street Journal.
There is “no other domestic issue where there is this gap between the elite and public opinion,” CIS Director of Communications John Keeley told CNSNews.com in an interview discussing CIS’s list of open border elitists.
Over at The Corner, Andy McCarthy goes on the warpath against Rajiv Chandasekaran (who later appeared on MSNBC's Hardball), the Washington Post's Baghdad Bureau Chief, in particular a Page One excerpt on Sunday from his anti-war book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" dealing with Simone Ledeen, the daughter of Michael Ledeen of AEI and National Review:
Chandrasekaran writes: “The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator … [was] tapped to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget, even though [she] didn't have a background in accounting.”
This is just disgraceful.
Simone did not manage any budget in Iraq. She executed the budget, which was actually managed by her superiors. Moreover, Simone was highly qualified to do this work. She had an extensive background in accounting, including a master's degree in business administration.
The online chat sessions with Washington Post reporters Monday at washingtonpost.com had a few revealing answers. In the daily politics chat, reporter Shailagh Murray seemed to disappoint the Post's natural audience by suggesting Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold was too liberal to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008. This spurred Murray to turn around and find today's GOP is way beyond Ronald Reagan's conservatism:
Ames, ia: Re: Feingold. You may be right, but I recall when Ronald Reagan was universally considered "too conservative."
Shailagh Murray: That just shows you how polarized politics has become. Reagan would practically be a moderate today.
Often, the warmth of media memories toward a politician hinge on where they stood, or where they ended up standing. In Monday's Washington Post, TV critic Tom Shales reviewed the HBO debut of the documentary "Goldwater on Goldwater," made by C.C. Goldwater, the granddaughter of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, loaded with liberal experts who lauded his resistance to the religious right. Shales sermonized:
Goldwater, who died in 1998, was the man who defined conservatism for more than one generation and who essentially split with the conservative movement when it became allied with pseudo-religious extremists. To Goldwater, the essence of conservatism was that government should stay out of people's lives as much as possible, and he was "appalled," his granddaughter says, by the "social agenda" of the far-right-wingers who seek to control the Republican Party now.
Blame it on talk radio. That is what Washington Post reporter Michelle Boorstein accepts as the reason for an increase in the harassment of Muslims in the U.S. It has nothing to do with terrorist attacks or threats of violence against those like the Pope who dare question any aspect of Islam.
In a media ranking of all those who are capable of committing a sin, talk radio hosts are near the top, while Muslims are close to the bottom, between baby lambs and blind orphans.
Complaints of anti-Muslim harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment registered with a national Muslim civil rights group jumped 30 percent in 2005 from the previous year, the group said today in releasing its annual report .
The 1,972 complaints made to the Council on American-Islamic Relations are the most the group has received since it began the annual reports following anti-Muslim incidents after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The group said it actually received 2,300 reports but deemed some of them illegitimate.
With the gun control movement running for the hills nationwide,
opponents of the Second Amendment have taken comfort in the fact that many of America's largest cities remain solidly in the anti-gun camp. In such places, it's not uncommon
for local government officials to initiate so-called gun buyback
programs where police purchase weapons citizens bring in, no questions
Basically no one who studies firearms policy believes
these initiatives actually work to reduce crime or take guns away from
by the DOJ and even Harvard University have discounted the
effectiveness of buyback programs. Just a few months ago, the liberal
Boston Phoenix alternative newspaper ran an article
that contended they enable criminals to afford newer, more deadly
weapons. Most of the time, the bulk of residents selling their guns are
older, as are their firearms--not exactly the kind of people you'd see
engaging in armed robbery.
All of this information
can be easily found on the internet. Surely the District of Columbia,
which hosted a buyback program over the weekend, was aware of it. One
would hope that at least one person at the Associated Press or the Washington Post
knew that gun buyback programs don't work, or that they'd at least have
the journalistic inclination to look into how effective such
initiatives are. But hard-hitting, thoughtful local reporting isn't
exactly in high supply in America's newspapers today, to say nothing of
research critical of liberal shibboleths.
While the national media begin to revisit the "corruption" issue -- largely as a Republican problem, as you can see from Monday's front page Washington Post story on GOP Sen. Conrad Burns -- it's important to remember where Democrats could have problems. Take appointed Sen. Bob Menendez, who's now the subject of a federal investigation for accepting $3,000-a-month rent from a group he's also sought to enrich with federal funding. NRO blogger Jim Geraghty reported:
So here outside Philly, we're getting New Jersey political ads, too, including one for Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, that features him in a courtroom. Oh, no, wait, it's not what you're thinking - he's not a defendant, he's touting his credentials fighting political corruption, not facilitating it.
The Washington Post puts the George Allen-Jim Webb debate on Sunday's "Meet the Press" on the front page Monday with the subhead: "Comments on Race, Gender Resurface in TV Appearance." But the Post account by Michael Shear and Tim Craig omitted Jim Webb's most stunning comments on race, at least for a Democratic candidate: he re-emphasized that he believes government quota programs ("affirmative action") are the equivalent of "state-sponsored racism" -- which isn't exactly friendly to the Democratic Party's minority-group activists.
In a 2000 Wall Street Journal book review praising black conservative Ward Connerly, Webb said that only blacks were the subject of historical discrimination in America, so broadening quotas to all minorities was as odious as Jim Crow racism. In a campaign in which the Post and other outlets have so pounded Allen's supposed racism in the "Macaca" comments, isn't this the kind of stand which Democrats would usually pound (wrongly) as racist?
Matthew Sheffield's item on Ben Cardin's staffer with the slurs is buried on Page C-6 of the Sunday Washington Post, described as a minor case of the blogger "stumbles." But George Allen's off-hand use of the word "Macaca" is on the front page again today, albeit in restrained form, not explicitly using the mysterious M-word. Michael Shear's article on the role of bloggers in the Virginia Senate contest began this way:
Virginia's U.S. Senate race has catapulted bloggers into the middle of electioneering and controversy as campaign supporters use their online forums to connect with voters, raise money and spread gossip. Liberal bloggers -- two of whom are on the payroll of Democratic challenger James Webb -- fanned the flames last month after Sen. George Allen aimed a derogatory remark at a young Webb volunteer. That hype has helped Webb close a double-digit Allen lead in public polls and was a blow to the Republican senator's possible presidential bid in 2008.
I wonder how much we'll be hearing of this news in the political press and how much Marylanders will from their MSM:
Rep. Benjamin Cardin has fired a campaign staffer who wrote racially
charged comments on an Internet blog against his opponent, Republican
Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is black, Cardin's campaign confirmed
The blog includes a reference to "Devouring the Competition" by eating
Oreo cookies, which Steele has said people threw at him during a 2002
debate as a slight directed at his race and political views.
In a statement, Cardin also condemned "anti-Semitic" comments written by the female staffer on her own Internet blog [formerly at persuasionatrix.blogspot.com].
One important fact left out of the AP report I quoted above is that the story was broken by our friends over at Wizbang. AP reporter Brian Witte's behavior in this instance is all too familiar. Blogs are often not given the proper credit they deserve for reporting, especially if they're conservative ones.
During today's Live Discussion at WashingtonPost.com, columnist David Broder took heat from liberal readers who asked him to explain why he said the press should apologize to Karl Rove for the stink it made over the non-issue of Valerie Plame.
It's remarkable how overwhelmingly liberal the questions are that make it to Broder's attention, but perhaps conservatives readers have given up on the Washington Post.
Washington, D.C.: Mr Broder, if you feel Karl Rove is owed an apology from the pundits and writers over Valerie Plame, did you also call for an apology to the Clintons after Ken Starr, the Whitewater investigation and the failed attempt to impeach President Clinton? If not, why not?
David S. Broder: As best, I can recall,I did not call for such an apology. My view, for whatever it is worth long after the dust has settled on Monica, was that when President Clinton admitted he had lied to his Cabinet and his closest assoc, to say nothing of the public, that the honorable thing was for him to have resigned and turned over the office to Vice President Gore. I think history would have been very different had he done that.
Reporter Alan Cooperman played up Pennsylvania Democrat Bobby Casey's speech at Catholic University in Friday's Washington Post as part of an exciting new trend of Democrats speaking out on religion. (Casey is seeking to unseat Sen. Rick Santorum, who is loved -- and hated -- for his passionate faith-based politics.) His other example of the religious outreach trend was the media's Tiger Beat fanzine idol, Sen. Barack Obama.
Cooperman passes several obvious tests for a balanced article. He includes conservatives and liberals in it, and labels each side. He lets the conservatives underline that Bobby has some positions that please the libertine left, including making Plan B abortifacients available to everyone, including teenagers, and backs "civil unions for same-sex couples." That's a fancy way of saying "gay marriage." But what about the ending?
When the Washington Post first opened its big can of "macaca" on Sen. George Allen, the story was presented as if it wasn’t an opposition-research ploy from the Democratic campaign of Jim Webb. The headline was "Allen Quip Provokes Outrage, Apology." But on Thursday, when the Allen campaign revealed a whopper on Webb, the Post headline was "Va. Senate Race Goes Negative on 1979 Essay." Both articles were written by Michael Shear and Tim Craig. Thursday’s story opened:
Virginia's U.S. Senate race turned nasty Wednesday as Republican Sen. George Allen launched a character attack on his Democratic opponent's past views toward women in combat, signaling the start of a two-month barrage of negative campaigning in what has become a close race.