Washington Post arts critic Philip Kennicott is enraptured in Tuesday's paper that an annual lecture sponsored by the federal-arts-subsidy lobby had evolved from "conservative curmudgeon" William Safire to a more traditional "bold and perhaps even controversial speech that included sustained criticism of religious fundamentalism." From who? Former PBS anchor Robert MacNeil, who used to be one-half of the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour. Like your average liberal media anchor, MacNeil wouldn't know a fundamentalist from an evangelical from an orthodox Catholic as he lectured (sigh) that Christian fundamentalists are awfully similar to Islamic fundamentalists:
"It is inevitable that artists should become the targets of such fundamentalist anxieties," he said. "Because it is in the nature of artists to push the frontiers of taste and morality, to show society both its pieties and its hypocrisies."
Now, as a lifelong resident of the Free State, I can attest that Maryland is a fairly liberal state and it spends at the state and county levels in a fairly liberal manner. Today's Washington Post characterized Democratic Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett's first budget proposal as detrimental to the county's public schools.
"Leggett to Offer Cautious Budget: 6% Increase Would Shrink School Request," read the headline to Miranda S. Spivack's Metro section front pager.
What makes the Leggett budget so cautious compared to the last one sought by his predecessor, former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Doug Duncan?
Perhaps because Duncan's last budget, Spivack noted, increased county spending by 9 percent. Of course both 6 and 9 percent growth rates for county spending well outpace the growth in the U.S. gross domestic product.
In the March 11 Washington Post, staff writers Elissa Silverman and Allison Klein took a look at the men and women behind a legal challenge to the Washington, D.C., handgun ban. But in doing so, it seems they buried the lede.
Information on one plaintiff came near the end of Silverman and Klein's 25-paragraph story:
Dick Heller, 65, said he became involved in the firearms debate in 1997 after he read a news story about a burglary in the District in which the homeowner shot the intruder -- and the homeowner was charged with a crime.
"That's what made us really livid," said Heller, who lives with his wife in Capitol Hill. "After that, I knew we had to be proactive."
That's the heart and soul of the case right there. The ban criminalizes law-abiding citizens who have a natural right to protect themselves, yet find that right severely undercut by District law which takes away a significant means of self defense: private ownership of a firearm.
But how crucial is Heller to the case? Without him, the case might well have been thrown out already:
Does the Washington Post practice bias by omission out of sensitivity to fellow liberals? Open to Friday's Style section, and the bias by omission (and delay) is, at least to a conservative, utterly mind-boggling. As Howard Kurtz covered the story of Rick Kaplan arriving at what seems like his 26th appointment at the top of a liberal network or show, when did Kurtz explain that then-ABC producer Rick Kaplan was an unpaid adviser to Bill Clinton through his first Gennifer Flowers scandal, told him which shows to do and how to be credible? He mentioned in paragraph 16 -- and, um, not at the beginning of paragraph 16 -- Kurtz related "A personal friend of Bill Clinton, he drew some criticism for twice sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom but said it did not affect his journalism." That was it. (Kurtz also never explains Kaplan was his boss at CNN for years.)
But the truly stupendous act of omission was the largest piece on the front of Style, William Booth's big profile of Bill Maher, which does not even mention -- even as the reporter described last Friday's show in detail as he witnessed it live -- Maher's passionate defense of commenters at the Huffington Post who desire Dick Cheney assassinated.
I know print publications tend to move slower than online outlets, but this is ridiculous.
On March 6, The Washington Post featured a story by staff writer Darryl Fears entitled "In Diversity Push, Top Universities Enrolling More Black Immigrants." Fears found critics who complain that some university admissions diversity policies end up drawing in more foreign black students at the expense of accepting more black American students for admission.
That's old news to Cybercast News Service correspondent Nathan Burchfiel, who beat Fears to the story not by a day or a week, but one month.
See for yourself. An excerpt is posted after the page break. [cont'd...]
Over on The Corner, Byron York is puzzled over why Libby's lawyers wouldn't choke on the many conflicts of blabby juror Denis Collins, the former Washington Post staffer who worked for Bob Woodward, partied with Walter Pincus, shared a back yard with Tim Russert, not to mention the book-writing about the CIA:
From the day Denis Collins appeared in jury selection, reporters asked themselves one question: How did this guy get on the jury? From his account at the Huffington Post, he recounts telling the court about his many, almost unbelievable, conflicts:
Apparently it's not much to CBS "Evening News" which promoted California's solar power initiative to "get people to think green by giving them some green," according to anchor Katie Couric on March 6.
Reporter John Blackstone argued that families who choose solar power do not suffer and "get something priceless. By living under one of California's million solar roofs they're helping the earth while helping themselves."
But the panels still costs at least $18,000 after the state and federal rebates and a Washington Post article said they actually cost $5,000 more initially than CBS said.
Blackstone also explained that Californians use less electricity per capita than other states, but left out how expensive energy is in California. You can find Dan Gainor's full story from the Business & Media Institute here.
The media love a "green" story. As Al Gore and Hollywood celebrities champion the practice of carbon offsetting -- donating money toward an energy-saving project while still taking your vacation -- the media buzz in agreement.
"If more people do it over time, it's a good thing," said CBS reporter Russ Mitchell during a carbon offset story on the February 22 "Early Show."
Carbon offsetting is hypocritical because it allows the extremely wealthy, like Al Gore, to still use enormous amounts of energy (1 million miles of global air travel in 2005 and more than 20 times the national average of power usage in 2006), while telling everyone else to conserve energy to save the planet from climate destruction.
Most liberal media outlets can't be bothered to visit, let alone cover the Conservative Political Action Conference every winter. But this year's event drew a large amount of publicity. CPAC hasn't been this notorious since reporter/fabricator Stephen Glass made up stories of wild sexual antics and drug use at CPAC hotel rooms and bathrooms ten years ago for The New Republic.
The furor surrounded author and columnist Ann Coulter, who cracked that she would like to comment on John Edwards, but "you have to go into rehab if you use the word `faggot.'" Coulter's joke was based on ABC's intense blitz recently to press "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington into rehab after he used the new F-word at the Golden Globes. The word used to be coarse and insulting, but liberals are now elevating it into a profanity, which is odd, considering they're constantly desensitizing the culture to all the historic profanities.
"As many political observers see it, [Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William] Howell is maturing into the leadership role he took on four years ago," wrote The Washington Post's Tim Craig in today's paper. And what exactly is developing the Republican speaker into an upstanding young chap?
Nothing more than a newfound willingness to raise taxes in the Old Dominion.
Here's the first two paragraphs of Craig's Metro section front pager:
"Bush Iraq Strategy Has No Option for Failure," read the headline on the Washington Post home page when I accessed it at 1:30 this morning. [UPDATE with some thoughts from Captain's Quarters tacked to bottom of post]
But is that just a statement of fact or a lament about a lack of a "failure option" for the war in Iraq itself. Here's the blurb that followed teaser headline:
Eager to appear resolute and reluctant to provide fodder for skeptics,U.S. officials rebuff questions about failure with a mix of optimism and evasion.
And what exactly does the Post find evasive? You need look no further than the first two paragraphs of Karen DeYoung and Thomas Ricks's front page March 5 article to find that it's a determination to win the war in Iraq.:
Plugging her monthly "Color of Money Book Club" entry today, Washington Post finance columnist Michelle Singletary made a gratuitious reference to Al Gore, comparing consumer debt to global warming:
James D. Scurlock, author and director of "Maxed Out," hopes to do with the overselling of credit what former vice president Al Gore has done for global warming -- elevate people's consciousness about a terrible threat to our existence. In this case, it's our financial well-being.
In an address in Oklahoma Thursday, Al "Balance Is Bias" Gore repeated his reference made at a "media ethics" seminar in Tennessee, that "a survey of 636 articles in the 'popular press' showed that 53 percent of the stories contended that it was still unproved." But Al Gore isn't really relying on a scientific study of media coverage. This matches an article by Jules and Maxwell Boykoff titled "Journalistic Balance as Global Warming Bias. " They didn't read all national newspaper articles on global warming in a certain time frame. They picked a "random sample" instead of the full spectrum of coverage.
But wait, it gets funnier. The Boykoff brothers urge that it's unethical to allow experts skeptical of global warming into news stories. But when you turn to Jules Boykoff's college biography page, you discover that much of his writing is devoted to protesting the "suppression of dissent" in America, including by...the mass media. (His 2006 book is titled The Suppression of Dissent: How the State and Mass Media Squelch USAmerican Social Movements.) Is he against squelching dissenters -- or only in favor of it when he sees a "climate crisis" for Al Gore and other liberals to prevent?
The Washington Post lovingly remembered liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr in Friday’s editions, including a front-page obituary by Adam Bernstein. But the most notable line came in the Linton Weeks appreciation on the front of the Style section, where his article carried the gooey headline "A Historian Who Made the Ivory Tower Glisten." Weeks declared the historian had an air of timelessness: "He was, in a way, frozen in time, like Austin Powers – International Man of History!" (Exclamation point is the writer’s.) He added: "This analogy came to me in late November 2000" after Schlesinger was "quietly outrageous" in a lunch meeting with the reporter. Yes, he used it in that article, too, right down to the "yeah, baby!"
Unlike Bernstein, who didn’t mention Schlesinger was a liberal until paragraph 19 (although his lede noted he was JFK’s "court philosopher"), Weeks was up front with a royal We: "Seeing him with his bow tie and his Harvard University credentials, we had the reassuring feeling that a smart guy was doing some heavy thinking about this country’s most serious problems. He was an unapologetic liberal, able to articulate the lefty perspective as the country move more and more to the right."
"The View’s" Joy Behar demonstrated again this week that the ladies of the ABC program are committed leftists, determined to spread propaganda. Co-host Behar made this point clear when she slandered the Bush administration as "murderers."
On the Al Gore front, "Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira proclaimed the former Vice President to be the "coolest guy" at last Sunday’s Oscars. "The Washington Post," meanwhile, one-upped the NBC host and wondered if the potential 2008 candidate is "America’s coolest ex-Vice President ever." [Emphasis added]
"CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric blogged on the subject of Gore, referring to him as a "secular saint."
Two reports from earlier this week, one that warned of a "likely recession," and another that flat-out declared a non-existent "manufacturing recession," have to make you wonder, especially considering a positive report from the real world that came out earlier today.
Second -- On Tuesday evening, the New York Times (may require registration), in an article by David Leonhardt, declared:
For Manufacturing, a Recession Has Arrived
The nation’s manufacturing sector managed to slip into a recession with almost nobody seeming to notice. Well, until yesterday.
Wall Street was caught off guard when the Commerce Department reported yesterday morning that orders for durable goods — big items like home computers and factory machines — plunged almost 8 percent last month. That’s a big number, but it really shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise. In two of the last three months, the manufacturing sector has shrunk, according to surveys by the Institute for Supply Management that have been out for weeks.
It sure looks as if Leonhardt was engaging in wishful thinking:
Washington Post reporter Lyndsey Layton reported Thursday that House Republicans will move for an unusual vote protesting the new committee assignment of Democratic Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana, the congressman still under investigation for the $90,000 in bribe money found in his home freezer. After removing Jefferson from the powerful Ways and Means Committee last year as the Democrats ran against a "culture of corruption," Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi now wants to place him on the Homeland Security Committee.
Layton's story highlights Jefferson's role as a "vocal critic of FEMA's performance" in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans as a rationale for his Homeland Security appointment. But the Post left out Jake Tapper's September 2005 scoop on Jefferson using the government to check on his personal property in the hurricane aftermath: "Amid the chaos and confusion that engulfed New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck, a congressman used National Guard troops to check on his property and rescue his personal belongings — even while New Orleans residents were trying to get rescued from rooftops, ABC News has learned."
He was an absolute wreck until a fleeting glimpse of JFK saved his life and paved the road of his destiny.
Sounds like the dust cover to a Democratic politician's biography, right? Try the opening grafs to Washington Post reporter Mary Beth Sheridan's February 27 profile of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)
"His father abandoned him. His stepfather was an alcoholic. By his
sophomore year at the University of Maryland, Steny Hoyer was short of
cash, getting D's and drifting," Washington Post repoter Mary Beth Sheridan began her front page profile of House Majority Leader.
Then one spring day in 1959, a Pontiac convertible cruised past him
on campus, carrying a familiar figure. Hoyer followed it to the student
center. Spellbound, he listened as Sen. John F. Kennedy appealed to
young people to get involved in government.
"It was just like
that," Hoyer says, snapping his fingers as he sits in his U.S. Capitol
office. "Just like that." The next week, he switched his major from
public relations to politics. He started getting A's and went on to law
"You know the rest," he says.
As a lifelong Marylander, I do know the rest. Hoyer -- full disclosure, he's my congressman -- is a consistently liberal Democrat (lifetime ACU rating of 8), a point often softened by media portrayals which often refer to him as a moderate due to his penchant for supporting local military installations with government largesse.
Even in an age when eight-year-olds are expert video gamers, if you're a kid (or a 28-year-old blogger playing with your nephews) nothing beats an old-fashioned game of Cops and Robbers (or Jack Bauer vs. shady terrorist masterminds). But that doesn't sit well with liberal parents who abhor "gun violence." So what do you do if you're a liberal TV pundit like George Washington University's Jonathan Turley and your kids won't take the hint when you take away their toy guns and swords and other toy "weapons"?
Well, the law professor wrote yesterday about how he stopped worrying and learned to accept that little boys like to play with toy guns (in his kids' case more often with toy swords/lightsabers). He found that, surprise, surprise, little boys often act out good vs. evil dramas with their toy gun or sword play, and for some darn reason, it seems natural for them to do so:
And, much as the headline, the text despicably read like a tabloid story about Britney Spears' shaved head or Elvis sightings in Las Vegas as if written by a starstruck groupie (emphasis mine throughout):
Ace makes a good point about the common practice of media folk thinking that receiving hate mail from leftist nutjobs is the equivalent about receiving a fairness complaint from a regular conservative or libertarian:
Although Allah points out the speciousness (and convenience) of that
claim, let's also note that most of the liberal media's criticism on
the right comes from mainstream Republicans representing the
great mass of right-leaning thought, whereas those who think the WaPo
is a part of the Vast Right Wing Noise Machine are unabashed, unhinged
lefties, "undecided" voters only the sense they're undecided between
Ralph Nader and Hugo Chavez.
Clearly, network anchors have much more sensitive skins than President Bush. Reporters insult him to his face, suggest he's concocting wars with fake intelligence, and insist he's incapable of admitting any mistakes. But to gain access to Katie Couric or Diane Sawyer, apparently you have to arrive with pom-poms and a pleated skirt.
Howard Kurtz interviewed ABC's Diane Sawyer about her disgustingly sympathetic 2007 Axis of Evil tour of interviewing the dictators of Iran and Syria for Monday's "Media Notes" column in The Washington Post. The piece read more like a press release for ABC than a news article. Take this line: "Just as industry insiders are wondering whether she is ready to abandon the predawn grind, Sawyer embarks on a one-woman diplomatic mission that has the business buzzing."
When a left-leaning newspaper reviews a new comedy show on the Fox News Channel, you shouldn’t expect raves. As a result, when Tom Shales of the Washington Post says that “The ½ Hour News Hour,” which previews Sunday evening, “isn’t terrible,” one has to take this as being about as glowing an assessment as humanly possible.
In fact, as difficult as it might have been for Shales to admit, he actually liked parts of the program, and surprisingly didn't seem too ashamed to say so in mixed company (emphasis mine throughout, h/t Hot Air):
Ken Shepherd mentioned the Michelle Malkin profile on the front of Friday's Style section in The Washington Post. You have to give credit to Howard Kurtz for being fair-minded enough to give a conservative blogger that much attention. It was tough but fair. Your complaint, then, would be that liberals don't get tough but fair. They get goo.
What stood out to me on Friday were the headlines in Style. Michelle's was "A Hard Right Punch: Michelle Malkin's Conservative Fight Has Others Coming Out Swinging."
But what's right above that on the page, the top story? A story on Al Gore's Chicken Little concerts, with the headline: "'Live Earth' Concerts To Tackle Hot Topic: Al Gore's Musical Call To Action." Notice the lack of labels, no hot "liberal" topic, no musical call to "liberal" action?
When the Air Pelosi brouhaha arose in the last few weeks, the first story that came to my bias-obsessed brain was the Air Sununu scandal in 1991, a crusade led by The Washington Post. The White House chief of staff John Sununu (father of the current senator) drew great controversy for his use of government jets and then, a government limo trip to a stamp auction. Comparison to other scandals, including congressional travel, came in our newsletter MediaWatch. Consider the comparison of the Post's investigative vigor:
Air Pelosi, 2007: One story on A-15, headlined "Pelosi Catches Nonstop Flights Home," a header designed for yawns, 272 words.
Air Sununu, 1991: 25 stories in 68 days (April 21-June 27), eleven on Page 1.
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.