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.
Can you spot the mistake? It's in this story about parishes and dioceses that have split from the Episcopal Church since the ordination of a practicing homosexual as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003:
"They say the Episcopal leadership defines Scripture on modern rather than eternal standards, and they take exception to the ordination of female clergy, the full acceptance of gays and lesbians and what they see as reduced importance in the role of Jesus for a believer's redemption."
But the indisputable problem with the story, I think involves the claim that "they" (breakaway Episcopalians) "take exception to the ordination of female clergy." That will come as a surprise to the ordained Episcopal women who have left the Episcopal Church in the past five years to protest its policies.
All three morning shows on Wednesday failed to cover a front page Washington Times story asserting that Senator Joe Biden has paid over $2 million in campaign money to family members and their businesses. Washington Times reporter Jim McElhatton wrote in the October 15 edition of the paper that "the money largely flowed from the coffers of Mr. Biden's failed presidential campaign during the past two years to a company that employs his sister and longtime campaign manager and longtime campaign manager Valerie Biden Owens, according to campaign disclosure filings."
The current Democratic vice presidential candidate also "directed campaign legal work to a Washington lobbying and law firm founded by his son R. Hunter Biden, the disclosures show." CBS's "Early Show," NBC's "Today" and "Good Morning America" all skipped the report. And although GMA found no time to highlight Biden's activities (which are legal, but have been harshly criticized by groups such as Public Citizen), the program did manage to devote a full segment to a 106-year-old nun who will be voting for Senator Barack Obama.
In stunningly self-centered, cruel fashion, Nicholas Provenzo, writer for the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism suggests that Sarah Palin’s decision to give birth to a child with Down Syndrome, is a financial burden that others are forced to suffer with.
Provenzo, who has written opinion pieces for the Washington Times, Capitalism Magazine, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution, as well as being a guest on Bill Maher’s former show, Politically Incorrect, makes his case for “the morality of aborting a fetus diagnosed with Down syndrome.”
The full first paragraph of the piece which is circulating amidst the blogosphere reads (emphasis mine):
Much of the mainstream media is gushing over French President Nicolas Sarkozy gushing over Barack Obama. The Chicago Sun-Times's Lynn Sweet, for example, wrote that "The beaming looks Sarkozy showered on Obama needed no interpretation." Unfortunately for the media, those looks of love didn't lead to an explicit Sarkozy endorsement, something they could have really gushed over.
Minutes after both Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and the U.S. Supreme Court denied appeals to spare his life and he was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday evening for his role in a 1998 claw hammer bludgeoning of a friend, 34-year-old Dale Leo Bishop urged Americans to vote for the Illinois senator for president.
According to the Natchez Democrat, after being strapped to a gurney Wednesday evening and apologizing for the crime, the goateed Bishop uttered these final words:
"[Europe] wants to see an [American] president committed to free trade," cautioned CNN Chief International Correspondent from Berlin, Germany, the site of a speech by presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama.
Amanpour pointed to Obama's wanting to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement as a problem for the Illinois senator. She explained why on the July 24 broadcast during Obama's visit to Europe.
"But let me tell you a word of caution. The European top trade official for instance has said, ‘Listen Barack Obama quit that crowd pleasing rhetoric and get serious for instance on the issue of trade.' You know Barack Obama as a candidate has talked about renegotiating NAFTA. Well, that does not go down well in Europe, which believes in internationalism and globalism, in globalization," said Amanpour on the morning broadcast.
Exit poll after exit poll in election after election shows the Democratic Party is staunchly supported by an overwhelming majority of African-American voters, many of whom are much more socially conservative on issues like abortion than their party leadership. The Democratic Party is also staunchly supported in primary battles and in fundraising drives by hard-core pro-choice liberals -- we're talking the same people who fought tooth-and-nail the federal ban on Partial-Birth Abortion.
So when a group of black ministers conducted a protest march in Washington, D.C., last week to raise awareness of its criticism of Planned Parenthood, media outlets had the recipe, instantly, for stories about possible conflicts that could divide the Democratic Party coalition on substantive, hot-button issues.
To perhaps no one's surprise here at NewsBusters, while the media covered the much hyped "Unity" rally in New Hampshire, the cable networks failed to even show up to shoot B-roll of Thursday's pro-life march on the DNC and RNC headquarters. Washington Times staffer Julia Duin covered the march and found no TV cameras present to record it:
For the second week in a row, CNN's Howard Kurtz, while hosting Sunday's "Reliable Sources," seemed absolutely befuddled by the media's lack of interest in reporting presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama's campaign flip-flops.
Last week, it was the junior senator's change of heart concerning public campaign finances. This Sunday, it was Obama's curious reversal on handguns.
After two weeks, Kurtz finally got his answer: the press think flip-flopping makes Obama a great politician. I kid you not:
With the traditional media admitting they find it hard to curb their enthusiasm for Barack Obama, John McCain demonstrated again today that he is reaching out to the new media, giving blogging critics from the right and left the opportunity to participate in the blogger conference calls he has been regularly conducting. The Washington Times noted the phenomenon in an article of May 16, McCain widens dialogue on blogs, reporting that three of the seven questions in the May 15 conference call were posed by liberal-leaning bloggers.
Of the half-dozen or so questions McCain took in today's blogger call [in which I participated], one was from a blogger from the left. James Kirchick, a New Republic assistant editor/blogger [and National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association 2007 Journalist of the Year], quizzed McCain on his position on the proposed amendment to the California constitution limiting marriage to one man and one woman [McCain expressed support for the amendment and for the ballot initiative giving citizens the right to vote on it].
The most barbed question actually came from the right. Quin Hillyer of the Washington Examiner began by expressing "all due respect," eliciting a wry "I always like that beginning" from the senator. Hillyer went on to describe what he characterized as "one of the most frequently aired complaints from conservatives," to wit, that "when you disagree with conservatives you seem to use the anger and the language of the left, and to question not just conservative positions but motive or integrity." Hillyer asked for assurances that McCain would "avoid that tendency" if he were elected President. McCain fundamentally disagreed with the premise, stating that he treated all people with respect.
At Smith College, it was a few dozen student activists screaming, chanting and banging pots and pans. With the American Psychiatric Association, it was angry letters from adult activists and bitter stories in the homosexual press. The bottom line is the same: far-left homosexuals successfully intimidated a few cowardly officials and silenced voices they don't want the public to hear.
Not a bad way for neo-Marxist ideologues to celebrate May Day, but you'd think America's watchdogs of liberty, the free press, might raise an objection. Sadly, the liberal media haven't written a word about either story.
Item: Less than six weeks after legendary editor Wesley Pruden's retirement, new Washington Times editor John Solomon has begun selling out to politically correct and objectively inaccurate language (additional HTs to NewsBusters' Tim Graham, and to John Haskins in an e-mail). The reason for the Times to even exist is slowly but surely being eliminated.
Accordingly, this parody, sung to the tune of Chicago's 1975 hit, "(America Needs You) Harry Truman" came to mind, in hopes of convincing Pruden to reconsider the virtues of returning, if only for a year:
America needs you, Wesley Pruden Wesley could you please come home? The new guy's really bad, A PC flack gone mad. So Wesley please come back and save the paper we all know and love.
When Wes Pruden was the editor of The Washington Times, reporters complained to outside sources about his editing and style choices, sometimes pummeling reporter’s copy. They called it "Prudenizing." Now that former AP and Washington Post reporter John Solomon is in charge, he’s begun the "Solomonizing." Erik Wemple of Washington City Paper reports that the new boss wants the Times to join the "mainstream" in using sensitive terminology on homosexuality and illegal immigration. From the memo Wemple quotes:
Here are some recent updates to TWT style.
1) Clinton will be the headline word for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
2) Gay is approved for copy and preferred over homosexual, except in clinical references or references to sexual activity.
3) The quotation marks will come off gay marriage (preferred over homosexual marriage).
4) Moderate is approved, but centrist is still allowed.
"[T]he truth is, ["Today" co-anchor] Meredith [Vieira], it doesn't matter if we're in a recession," Bartiromo said on NBC's February 6 "Today." "We can talk ourselves into a recession, and that seems to be what we're doing right now and that certainly begets more weakness."
The media coverage has apparently affected voters. According to the February 6 Washington Times, an exit survey from the "Super Tuesday" primaries showed 47 percent of Democratic voters and 40 percent of Republican voters said the economy was the most important issue in making their choice at the polls.
My my, the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) is busy these days -- aiding and abetting those who wish to suppress the human right of free speech and expression.
Even though (or is it because?) the vehicle that enabled and emboldened the CHRC's thought police and those who complain to it was the passage of the kind of "non-discrimination" legislation Congress has considered passing for several years, US Old Media could care less.
In February 2007 Rob Wells, a member of the Pride Center of Edmonton, filed a nine-point complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission alleging that Catholic Insight had targeted homosexuals as a powerful menace and innately evil, claiming it used inflammatory and derogatory language to create a tone of “extreme hatred and contempt.”
Catholic Insight responded to these charges in its January 2008 issue, saying the complaint consists of “three pages of isolated and fragmentary extracts from articles dating back as far as 1994, without any context.”
..... The magazine has continually emphasized that, with the respect to homosexual activity, it follows the guidance of the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.
Although I doubt it will happen (yet), it seems "logical" that CHRC could say, "OK, you're right, the entire Catholic Church is engaged in 'extreme hatred and contempt.'"
... "Our whole mission ... is to say: These people are not objective. They're not disinterested, the press and people need to see them for what they are," (Tim) Graham said in a recent telephone interview.
Demystifying the relationship between the press and the Clinton camp is essential for Americans to decide this year's race, (L. Brent) Bozell said.
"Past is prologue," he said. "The kind of behavior that was going on 15 years ago is going on today."
The Washington Post might consider doing something I hesitate to recommend to anyone before they simply print campaign talking points in covering an admittedly negative situation. That something is, read the New York Times. The narrative for the piece, sourced through Clinton people, is pretty clear. Hillary don't know Iowa, it was a national campaign - but "Hillary" figured it out and saved the day ... hopefully for them, at least.
Still, her initial strategy did not put special emphasis on the caucuses, treating them as part of a national campaign.
The chief concern, one person with immediate knowledge of the campaign said, was that Clinton simply did not visit Iowa enough over the summer and early fall -- a common complaint in national campaigns
Is it acceptable for stores catering to Hispanics to use racial epithets when referring to Caucasian residents of the United States? Apparently so. According to the Washington Times online edition, a furniture store located in Alexandria, Va., has posted a sign calling Americans 'gringos'. The Times reports that,
A sign outside the store at the intersection of North Beauregard and King streets reads, “Credito sin papeles de gringo.” In English, that could be translated to say “Credit without gringo papers.” Blanca Granados, the store's assistant manager, translated the message to mean “just 'without white papers,' like Social Security or like that.”
What's another $500 taken out of your paycheck over the course of a year? It probably isn't much to global warming alarmists like Al Gore, but that's what it could cost you if legislation pending in the U.S. Senate is passed into law.
Does that $500 have your attention? Well, multiply that times every member of your immediate family.
According to a November 11 Washington Times editorial, a bill introduced in the Senate by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) that would require companies to scale back greenhouse-gas emissions could cost Americans $4 trillion to $6 trillion over the next 40 years.
If that bill were passed and made law, the tax would cost every man, woman and child - more than 303 million Americans - $494 a year, a significant burden on the U.S. economy.
Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have a history of fund-raising from shadowy Asian donors. Bill was connected with such donors in a scandal that was never fully investigated due to most of the targets fleeing to their native countries. Now the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Hillary also is gaining money from Asian sources that would seem to merit some investigation. The question is- will the rest of the mainstream media actually follow up and report it?
A few days ago I wrote about how blogger Flip Pidot of Suitably Flip found that while the Hillary Clinton campaign vowed to give the Norman Hsu campaign contributions to charity, his name still appeared in a list of "HillRaisers," top-dollar fundraisers and bundlers for the Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential race.
Now reporter and blogger Robert Stacy McCain has an interview on the Washington Times Web site with Pidot. Below are some questions pertaining to Hsu and Pidot's research and blogging about the Clinton contributor:
Q: You actually went to the New York address listed on Norman Hsu's [Federal Election Commission] forms. ... Did you see anything?
I am more than happy to come to Josette's aid (not that she needs it) because I worked directly with her in my time at the Times. We haven't spoken in years, but Josette was great to work for and both gave me some big responsibilities and treated me with respect.
Josette now has the audacity to be the United Nations World Food Program's executive director and simultaneously come from the "most conservative wing of the Bush administration," according to the Times.
As noted here at NB yesterday, Kansas Congresswoman Nancy Boyda walked out of a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Friday after hearing General Jack Keane testify about the potential impact of a bill meant to micromanage troop deployment. Keane also testified about progress being made in the counteroffensive that has come to be known as "the surge."
Boyda walked out because the objections to that bill, and the descriptions of an improving situation in Iraq, were apparently too much to bear. She said as much when she returned. Boyda and the fly in her pocket (based on her several references to "we") went into full-rant mode (painfully long and slow-loading audio is here; scroll down to July 27's entry and click on "Audio Transcript"; Boyda's tantrum is about 60% of the way through it; also note that at least a half-dozen hecklers and demonstrators had to be removed during the hearing):
"..... As many of us, there was only so much that you could take until we, in fact, had to leave the room for a while, and so I think I am back and maybe can articulate some things that after so much of the frustration of having to listen to what we listened to."
"But let me just first say that the description of Iraq as if some way or another that it's a place that I might take the family for a vacation, things are going so well, those kinds of comments will in fact show up in the media and further divide this country instead of saying here’s the reality of the problem and people, we have to come together and deal with the reality of this issue."
As we've documented at NewsBusters, last year the media, particularly the Washington Post, raked then-Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) over the coals for his infamous "macaca" insult, and his ensuing profuse apologies for same. We've also documented that Democratic politicians' jokes about India and Indian-Americans have been largely ignored (see below the jump).
The latest racial incident kicking up dust on the 2008 campaign trail is yet another Democratic gaffe, dubbed by some, "Punjab-gate," after an Obama presidential campaign research memo cheekily described rival Hillary Clinton as a Democrat from Punjab, a province in India.
Of course, as the oppo memo itself notes, and as John McCormick of the Chicago Tribune reported in the Trib's "The Swamp" blog, Obama's staff were referring to another "lame attempt at humor" (my emphasis, see below jump) by the junior senator from the Empire State about her electoral chances were she to decide to relocate to India:
Washington Times reporter Martin Arostegui has an excellent article in today's paper about the socialist leaders of two South American countries following Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez's example by moving to restrict press freedoms in their respective countries. By contrast, the news didn't even meake the "World in Brief" digest on page A16 of today's Washington Post:
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia -- The leaders of Bolivia and Ecuador are moving
with Cuban encouragement and in concert with their mentor, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez, to restrict press freedom in their countries.
Bolivian President Evo Morales and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa
both announced steps to crack down on independent broadcasters within
days of Mr. Chavez's closure on Sunday of Venezuela's main independent
television station, RCTV.
For the past 20 years, every Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands of motorcyclists join together as Rolling Thunder to honor the military, particularly the dead and MIA. The coverage is usually positive and focuses on the patriotic bikers and their interesting-looking bikes. On May 27, ABC News went a different direction for this year’s ride. Instead of covering Rolling Thunder and their military and veteran-related issues, the way the Washington Post and the Washington Times did in their articles, ABC turned it into advocacy journalism to inform people about the importance of--wearing helmets while riding motorcycles. After four rather bland sentences about the the event, ABC slipped into lecture-mode (emphasis mine thoughout):
What is it about anti-gunners that they just have to lie in their advocacy against guns? Do they lie because they know the facts makes them look so bad? This time it's the Washington Times' turn to publish an anti 2nd Amendment piece based on several lies. This one, penned by an Alex Gerber, worries that gun control will "apparently be glossed over again" and claims that the evil "American gun culture" is so insensitive to have tolerated "some 14,000 firearm murders" in 2005.
Only there weren't 14,000 "firearm murders" in 2005. According to FBI statistics, there were 10,100 gun murders in 2005 instead of the 14,000 cited by Gerber. In fact, the whole of the 2005 murder rate of all causes was 15,517, not much more than just the gun deaths claimed by Gerber.
Conveniently ignoring all the evidence that says more armed people in a given area actually lowers gun violence, Gerber goes on to claim that the idea that if the students at Virginia Tech were armed, maybe so many would not have died before the killer was taken down is "a joke". Absurdly, he makes his claim as if he knows beyond doubt that it could not be true that others being armed could have lowered the VT kill ratio.
In 1995, Bill Clinton said this to a Houston fund-raising audience about the 1993 tax increase his administration is infamous for:
Probably there are people in this room who are still mad at me at that budget because you think I raised your taxes too much. It might surprise you to know that I think I raised them too much too.
John Edwards, on the other hand, must think that the Clinton Administration and the congress at the time raised taxes too little, because he said on Sunday that he wants to go beyond what was done in 1993 (link requires registration; HT Colorado Right):