The Washington Times took up the issue today of how PBS and NPR stations exploit their own airwaves to lobby against Republican budget-cut proposals. Reporter Seth McLaughlin and Stephen Dinan reported that spokesmen for PBS superstations WGBH in Boston and WETA in Washington “said their appeals never told their audiences which way to lobby Congress, but only to call and let their feelings be known.”
A look at WETA’s ad (which we recorded after the February 22 Frontline) shows this is simply and obviously untrue. The announcer clearly insists the House Republicans are putting kiddie programs at risk and cuts “will have a devastating effect on WETA and the television programs you and your family rely on.” Do they really expect people to agree this isn’t an advocacy ad? Do they think someone would say "I'm so glad they've inspired me to call and say "I hate WordGirl and Sid the Science Kid. Please defund those little jerks.'" Here’s the whole script:
Elena Kagan's record clearly demonstrates she's a liberal, but to Rachel Maddow, she's just not liberal enough to be an "actual liberal." While she did a bit of a victory lap with Newsweek's Dahlia Lithwick on Tuesday night that the Republicans failed to scare people about Kagan and "nobody was terrified," Maddow still felt Obama wimped out by not picking an obvious radical leftist:
LITHWICK: At the end of the day you have a nominee who just utterly slid under the radar. And I don't know how the fundraising went but I know that the narrative was "She's fine, yawn. She's fine."
MADDOW: Yes. Well, should liberals look back at this experience? I mean, we're not out of it yet but should they essentially look back and say, "An actual liberal, a real -- a more liberal justice could have gotten through here?"
LITHWICK: I think so. It seems to me that to the extent that Obama had a moment to put someone a little bit more -- a little closer to a Stevens legacy or a Brennan legacy, a little closer to a passionate firebrand, this would have been the moment to put them up if the rumors are -- and they're only rumors -- true that Ginsburg is going to leave while Obama is still in office.
On Friday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty tossed cold water on the Obama administration's "recovery summer" claims, stating that the "current recovery has been one of the worst for job creation ever." Cafferty also criticized the dangerous growth in the national debt, underlining that there "appears to be a rather serious disconnect," as the President requested billions in additional spending.
The CNN commentator began his 5 pm Eastern hour commentary with a contrast between Obama's "massive P.R. campaign" touting the apparent effectiveness of the $860 billion "economic stimulus bill" and the continuing high unemployment figure: "President Obama and Vice President Biden have kicked off a massive P.R. campaign, celebrating what they're calling 'recovery summer'....But the celebration may be premature. Just yesterday, the Labor Department reported new claims for jobless benefits jumped by 12,000 last week- much sharper increase than was expected."
Cafferty touted a recent editorial in the Washington Times which "suggests the administration's 'make-work' jobs program has failed, and that those infrastructure jobs, which are being funded by the taxpayers, will disappear when the stimulus money runs out- soon." He bluntly continued, "Fact is the current recovery has been one of the worst for job creation ever."
The president is repeating a blatant falsehood about the Arizona law that has gained instant currency in the establishment press and leftist circles. It has no basis in fact, or in the legislation Grand Canyon State Governor Jan Brewer recently signed.
A short Associated Press item tonight notes that the Organization for American States is not happy with the state of Arizona for passing an immigration law-enforcement measure:
I don't expect AP to expand on OAS's statement any time soon, because in the process of doing so they might feel compelled to look at how some of the countries criticizing Arizona handle their own illegal immigrants.
“Despite persistent violence and a critical election coming up, President Obama hardly ever mentions the war in Iraq,” Joseph Curl reports in today’s Washington Times, and the news media are largely aiding in this neglect. Curl discloses that “the last time a White House reporter asked about the Iraq war was June 26,” while ABC, CBS and NBC aired just 80 minutes of coverage in all of 2009.
The near-media blackout means that the success of President Bush’s “surge” policy in 2007 — a policy opposed by President Obama and Vice President Biden when both were presidential candidates and ridiculed by the networks as a "Lost Cause" — has gone virtually unreported in the past year. This week’s Newsweek is an exception, with a big Iraq War cover story declaring “Victory at Last.”
In a story primarily about President Obama's plan to campaign on behalf of incumbent Democratic senators in Nevada and Colorado, Washington Times reporter Joseph Curl did not name Colorado Senator Michael Bennet's opponent.
That oversight would ordinarily be defensible if the Bennet's primary competitor were polling weakly. But he is most decidedly not, at least where it ultimately counts -- in general election match-ups against the current Republican primary front-runner.
Even though his cable TV news network may not have that many viewers in relative terms to his competitors, MSNBC's David Shuster apparently has some clout when it comes to getting things done in Washington, D.C. - at least on a municipal level.
Shuster, making effort to give his viewers some "perspective" of his personal experience with the reason record-breaking snowfall in Washington, D.C., showed pictures of scenes near his Washington, D.C. home - complete with unplowed snow and a downed tree on MSNBC Feb. 12.
"And to give you some perspective on what it's been like for all of us here in Washington, D.C., on residential streets that don't get plowed," Shuster said. "First up, this is a picture my wife took on Sunday in front of our house looking north of 32nd Street," Shuster explained. "This was after the first storm that dumped about 23 inches and before the second drop of another 12. And here's a photo from the same angle last night, the weight of the second storm caused one of the trees to fall down yesterday morning breaking windows in that apartment building on the right. We have street parking and here's what 35 inches of unplowed snow does to cars."
Former "Crossfire" host Bill Press apparently cannot distinguish between news and opinion. He is furious that his application for press credentials with the congressional press corps was denied due to content on his website urging readers to tell Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., to vote for health care legislation in the Senate. He cites numerous examples of CPC members that host opinion content, but neglects to differentiate between their commentary and their news coverage.
"Senator Joe Lieberman said he will vote against Harry Reid's proposed health reform bill that includes a public plan option. Call Senator Lieberman's office and tell him he's wrong to do so, and should vote FOR it," wrote Press on his site, billpressshow.com. The CPC forbids its correspondants from being "engaged in the prosecution of claims or the promotion of legislation pending before Congress."
Press was puzzled, however, that news outlets such as the Washington Times, the Huffington Post, Fox News, Al Jazeera, Venezuela TV, and Pacifica Radio were granted CPC membership, given the presence of opinion content in each of their outlets. "Irony? No, that's sheer hypocrisy," he wrote for the Huffington Post today.
The mainstream media has left Americans with little reason to believe they will serve as watchdogs against foul play on the left. After major media outlets were scooped by two twenty-somethings with a hidden camera, and failed to vet former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, leaving it to bloggers at Gateway Pundit to expose his trutherism, it comes as little surprise that the Washington Times is now turning to the center-right's online grassroots community to expose the White House's most recent instance of malfeasance. And it is a doozy.
On August 10, the National Endowment for the Arts, the federal agency that is nation's largest source of funding for the arts, held a conference call with some 75 artistic leaders to discuss ways in which those leaders could "help lay a new foundation for growth, focusing on core areas of the recovery agenda – health care, energy and environment, safety and security, education, community renewal."
Patrick Courrielche of Big Hollywood, who participated in the conference call, reported that there were a number of high-level White House officials present, including Yosi Sergant, the Director of Communications for the National Endowment for the Arts, and Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Callers were openly encouraged to back the president's message, as they had during the campaign.
Fair enough. But Breitbart asserted what I believe is a bigger point. It isn't just that the establishment media would have ignored the story if James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles had attempted to put it out there on their own. Breitbart believes that Big Media would have actively worked to bury it and to discredit its authors. There's little doubt that Andrew is absolutely correct.
Once again, one of the masters of the universe trotted out on MSNBC has discovered the cure to one of society's ills - more Obama.
Daily Voice editor and CNBC contributor Keith Boykin waved off the reservations of some parents about President Barack Obama addressing their children in the classroom. Boykin appeared on MSNBC on Sept. 3 in a segment about the classroom controversy and added his insightful commentary on the matter.
"So much of the debate about President Obama has been politicized in an effort by some to delegitimize his presidency," Boykin said. "This is clearly much ado about nothing. We're talking about the President of the United States speaking to school kids. Why wouldn't schools want this to happen? That's why our kids are so dumb today, because they don't want to have basic common sense in the classroom."
It's no secret the print newspaper industry is struggling. It's become all too common to hear that papers, like the Christian Science Monitor or the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, have ceased publishing a print edition and gone completely online.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addressed this challenge and its impact on a government at the Aspen Institute's Forum on Communications and Society earlier this month. According to Albright, the fourth estate was intended to keep government in check and that countries without a free press tend to be authoritarian societies.
"Let me just say, in terms of Democracy and the free press, I think it is absolutely an essential part and all we have to do is go back and look at our Constitution," Albright said. "But I have looked at this from a number of different angles. When I was an academic, wrote about the role of the press internationally in political change. And there is no question in my mind, in terms of authoritarian societies, if you do not have information, you can't operate and it is power."
If you haven't noticed, a lot of media outlets have gotten worked up into a tizzy over the mere mention of death panels. The New York Times got so worked up, it went after a few conservatives outlets by name in its Aug. 13 issue.
"But the rumor [that Obama's health care proposal would create death panels] - which has come up at Congressional town-hall-style meetings this week in spite of an avalanche of reports laying out why it was false - was not born of anonymous e-mailers, partisan bloggers or stealthy cyberconspiracy theorists," Jim Rutenberg and Jackie Calmes wrote for the Times. "Rather, it has a far more mainstream provenance, openly emanating months ago from many of the same pundits and conservative media outlets that were central in defeating President Bill Clinton's health care proposals 16 years ago, including the editorial board of The Washington Times, the American Spectator magazine and Betsy McCaughey, whose 1994 health care critique made her a star of the conservative movement (and ultimately, New York's lieutenant governor)."
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Washington Times commentary section editor Mary Lou Forbes passed away last Saturday.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell has issued the following statement:
Mary Lou Forbes made an imprint on the conservative movement that will last for generations. In her more than 50 years in the world of journalism, she served as an unshakable role model especially for conservative women and beginning at a time before females were recognized for their influence.
Mary Lou was also a brilliant mentor. She shared the wisdom gained in her stunning career by instilling the nuts and bolts of good journalism in the countless reporters who excelled under her tutelage. There was seldom a writer she ran across that she couldn't improve.
But even beyond her work, Mary Lou was loved and admired for her kindness and encouragement that touched each person who was blessed to know her. The Media Research Center will miss her and all the support she gave us so generously over the years. May she rest peacefully.
Apart from several reports on FNC, and a few on CNN, the mainstream television news media have ignored the controversial firing of former Inspector General Gerald Walpin, who had recently battled for tougher penalties against Obama friend and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson after an investigation by Walpin found Johnson had misused hundreds of thousands of tax dollars granted by the AmeriCorps program to the Johnson-founded St. Hope charity. Over the past weeks, there have been a number of developments, including the opening of an FBI investigation into the St. Hope charity, further casting doubt on the White House's decisions and bolstering Walpin's case that he was wrongfully booted.
The creator of the Big Hollywood blog noted in his June 15 column the inconvenient truth the mainstream media did not focus on in the aftermath of last week's Holocaust Museum shooting, even as the MSM furthered the meme that
For those who hold out hope that perhaps Sonia Sotomayor will be a pro-life surprise on the bench, there are sobering reminders. First, all of the modern "surprise" justices have been closet liberals appointed by Republicans. Clinton's appointees have hardly turned out to be closet conservatives.
Consider that from 1980 until October 1992, Judge Sotomayor served on the board -- at times as vice president and at times as chairman of the litigation committee -- of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. The New York Times in 1992 described her as "a top policy maker on the board." During that time period, the fund filed briefs in not one, not two, but at least six prominent court cases in strong support of "abortion rights."
In the very heart of the pro-life community, there is nothing they wanted less than another shooting of an abortionist. An unhinged vigilante's shooting of notorious Kansas late-term abortion "provider" George Tiller prompted an avalanche of press releases from pro-life groups denouncing the killing.
Why bother? Let's face it. The national media had zero interest in spotlighting a pro-life spokesman expressing horror, because let's face it, they don't believe it. Instead, as with ABC, they found anonymous citizens on the website Twitter saying "Oh, happy, day. Tiller the baby killer is dead." Another wrote, "God bless the gunman."
It was time for a barrage of liberal mudslinging. Keith Olbermann started his MSNBC program with these words: "A religious jihad by fundamentalist crusaders who believe that murder is justified, their acts of violence having the intended effect of changing behavior. Our fifth story on the Countdown: Not the Taliban, not Hamas, not al Qaeda."
Blago and Burris, Sitting in a tree, But they'd rather we not know their political party.
There has been yet another revelation about contacts between Democratic President Barack Obama's U.S. Senate successor, Democrat Roland Burris and former Illinois Democratic governor Rod Blagojevich over Blago's pre-Senate appointment, uh, deliberations. A released FBI audio recording reveals that Burris offered to make a campaign contribution to Blago as he lobbied to be selected.
This news has brought on yet another wave of stories that fail to tell us what party Blago and Burris belong to.
The Washington Post is the only publication that identified the party of both men in the course of reporting their story. The Post's Peter Slevin and Perry Bacon Jr. also identified the Democratic Party affiliation of the Senate Ethics Committee's Barbara Boxer:
If the cheers of Columbia University's Class of 2009 are any indication, the future of journalism will be looking for a federal bailout.
Washington Times correspondent Christina Bellantoni live-tweeted today's event, noting the remarks from university president Lee Bollinger appealing for more government-owned media outlets. Bollinger also received "big cheers" for his call for increased spending on public broadcasting.
Here are the relevant tweets from Bellantoni's feed in reverse chronological order (emphasis mine):
Call it an ominous warning, but Fox News Channel afternoon host and ratings sensation Glenn Beck on Wednesday cautioned viewers that government is strengthening its grip of power and is not going to stop at the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Beck declared on his May 6 broadcast the government is out of control, noting that Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were a weekly occurrence, including efforts to make the TARP bailout more transparent earlier this year from the Treasury Department.
"We've got a government out of control and I'm telling you, it is up to you to control it," Beck said. "These stories of corruption and abuse of power, I'm going to continue to bring them to you as long as I possibly can, and everybody else on this network is dedicated. But it seems like every week this network is filing another Freedom of Information Act request. Even with all the resources of Fox, the truth still can't be fully exposed without you. I ask you, please - help us. Meet us here every day. Tell all of your friends what you learn here. Spread it. E-mail me. Tell me what I'm missing. We will do the best we can to provide you with the information, but it is a little overwhelming."
MSNBC featured the Republican Party's elephant logo in a segment on Wednesday's "MSNBC News Live" about the possible rise of right-wing hate groups. Anchor Contessa Brewer introduced the piece by asserting, "The White House is warning that a bad economy, combined with the election of the nation's first black President, could draw new extremist right-wing members, especially war veterans, to a dangerous cause." An onscreen graphic behind her featured a red and blue Republican elephant and fretted, "New Right-Wing Threat?" Even if one were to believe the report, how fair is it for MSNBC to link one of America's two major parties to such violence?
A second graphic for the remainder of the segment hyperbolically wondered, "Rise of the Radical Right?" Brewer interviewed Washington Times correspondent Eli Lake, who broke the story of the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report on Tuesday. After Lake pointed out that a footnote in the DHS analysis defines right-wing extremists as both hate groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, and also those concerned with state rights, Brewer inquired, "Are there any of these groups that have shown violent tendencies, trying to organize, overthrow the government or anything along those lines?" Lake chuckled and mused, "I mean, other than, I guess, you know, people in the Revolutionary War in 1776?"
As has been mentioned here before, the Media Research Center is heading up the Free Speech Alliance (FSA). Made up thus far of sixty-five organizations, the FSA is dedicated to protecting the freedom of speech of all practitioners of conservative and Christian talk radio from any and all government regulatory censorship.
Well here is an excellent piece by Peter Ferrara of the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU), a Free Speech Alliance member organization, that appeared in Sunday's Washington Times.
This essay captures perfectly the other half of the argument we are making. Just as Rush, Sean, Mark et. Al. have the First Amendment-guaranteed Freedom to Speak, We the People have the First Amendement-guaranteed Freedom to Listen.
The Left's attempts to take away the former inherently abridge the latter too.
We will at this point allow Mr. Ferrara to speak expertly for himself.
In an exclusive on Thursday, the Washington Times reported that only five days before assuming the presidency, Barack Obama received a $500,000 advance to write a children's book. Times writers Jim McElhatton and Christina Bellantoni put it this way: "As he empathized with recession-weary Americans, President Obama arranged in the days just before he took office to secure a $500,000 advance for a children's book project, a disclosure report shows."
The Times piece quotes campaign finance lawyer Jan Baran as asserting, "I don't recall any sitting president entering into a book deal." The former general counsel to the Republican National Committee added, "They all have historically done that after they leave office." McElhatton and Bellantoni pointed out that Obama doesn't appear to have broken any rules by signing the deal. But, considering how the President has railed against excess greed on Wall Street and bonuses for Wall Street CEOs, it will be interesting to see if networks such as CBS, ABC and NBC cover the issues raised in the Times report.
Coverage of "tea party" protests in various cities around the country (this March 4 Pajamas Media press release, HT to FreeRepublic, cited 22 locations on February 27 and seven this weekend) has been sparse to non-existent, especially at major establishment media outlets.
Most notably, based on a seach on "tea party" (not in quotes) at its ap.org home page at about 10:00 a.m., there has been no coverage of this weekend's or last weekend's protests by the Associated Press, the self-described "essential global news network":
FNC's Bret Baier did something Friday night you rarely, if ever, hear from a journalist: He apologized for incomplete reporting, specifically for failing to identify as an illegal alien the man charged with murdering Chandra Levy. Picking up on a Friday Washington Times article which quoted media coverage information reported Tuesday night on NewsBusters (and Wednesday on MRC.org), Baier noted in his “Grapevine” segment: “The Washington Times reports CBS, CNN and the Associated Press described Ingmar Guandique either a 'Salvadoran immigrant' or a 'laborer from El Salvador.'” He then acknowledged:
Fox News is not escaping criticism on this. Although Bill O'Reilly has referred to Guandique as an "illegal alien," the report points out that Fox newscasts, including this one, have used the term "Salvadoran immigrant." We apologize for not being more precise.
It seems that the media, as highlighted by NewsBuster Kyle Drennen, seems to think border security is a joke. That must be why none of the supposed mainstream media sources are bothering to cover the group of illegal aliens who sued a US citizen for 32 million dollars in federal court. The defendant is an Arizona rancher who is trying to prevent said illegals from destroying his property. According to a report in the Washington Times online newspaper, the illegals filed suit against Arizona resident and US citizen Roger Barnett " for violating their civil rights". The Washington Times says that,
An Arizona man who has waged a 10-year campaign to stop a flood of illegal immigrants from crossing his property is being sued by 16 Mexican nationals who accuse him of conspiring to violate their civil rights when he stopped them at gunpoint on his ranch on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Roger Barnett, 64, began rounding up illegal immigrants in 1998 and turning them over to the U.S. Border Patrol, he said, after they destroyed his property, killed his calves and broke into his home.
His Cross Rail Ranch near Douglas, Ariz., is known by federal and county law enforcement authorities as "the avenue of choice" for immigrants seeking to enter the United States illegally.
In what could be seen as a disturbing sign for the future, the Barack Obama presidential campaign has blocked the Washington Times newspaper from traveling with the Democratic nominee in the final days of the election.
The ostensible reason given was a lack of space:
Times reporter Christina Bellatoni, who has covered the Democratic campaign since 2007 is being asked to leave the campaign plane starting Sunday. In defending its decision, the Obama campaign said it respected Ms. Bellatoni's reporting and simply ran out of seats on the campaign plane for the finale because of high demand. It also noted that the Obama campaign is allowing some news media critical of the democrat to travel, including Fox News.