My pal Cam Edwards at NRANews.com forwarded an example of media incompetence followed by arrogance on the issue of the state of Ohio pre-empting local gun laws:
The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reversed course on the issue of firearms pre-emption laws, writing an editorial in favor of pre-emption back in August and then slamming the idea a few weeks ago. Chad Baus, from Buckeye Firearms Association, had a lengthy and funny email exchange with the head of the editorial page. You can find the whole story here.
Baus found a clear case of an editorial writer who had not read the bill he was writing about, and an editorial page editor who refused to admit they hadn't read it.
I told you that watching the Dems' internecine battles was going to be fun. The slap the NY Times took at the Dem leadership today for backing away from its pledge to reform Congress as part of implementing the 9-11 panel recommendations was just an hors d'ouevre. In a column in today's Los Angeles Times, Arianna Huffington serves up a heaping main course, feasting on Hillary's foibles.
All you really need to know about how Huff feels about Hil is to have a look at the photo here from the LA Times that accompanies Arianna's column. But let's plunge on with these excerpts from Hillary's too vane to be president:
"While the country is urgently engaged in finding a way out of the quagmire in Iraq, Hillary Rodham Clinton is busy holding private dinners for key Democrats from primary states."
"A politician more comfortable following than leading."
In its zeal to undercut the presidential ambitions of its home-state governor, the Boston Globe engages in some blatant intellectual dishonesty this morning. Last week, the Globe breathlessly broke the story that a lawn care company that provides services to Mitt Romney has employees who are illegal immigrants. As the Globe archly put it: "as Governor Mitt Romney explores a presidential bid, he has grown outspoken in his criticism of illegal immigration. But, for a decade, the governor has used a landscaping company that relies heavily on . . . illegal Guatemalan immigrants." The Globe headlined its story: "Illegal immigrants toiled for governor." Toiled. Nice touch. Tote that rake, lift that lawnmower.
The Des Moines Register headline focuses on Barack Obama's enlistment of Iowa-savvy aides. But along the way, the article by Tom Beaumont, Obama talks with top advisers in Iowa, offers up some delightful Midwestern understatement.
First, in reviewing the potential Dem field, Beaumont writes of "Kerry, a Massachusetts senator." You can imagine him fuming: "Don't you know who I am? And why didn't you mention that I'm . . . a Vietnam veteran?"
With caution even more delicious, Beaumont notes "New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is believed to be weighing a campaign for the Democratic nomination." Indeed. And in tonight's Nature documentary, a ravenous crocodile
This past week saw The Washington Post ask a classically liberal question: Is America more racist or sexist?
Following the lead of this major paper, ABC’s Diane Sawyer asked the same question, adding a surreptitious angle. She wondered, "Is the nation, secretly, I guess, more racist or more sexist?"
The "Good Morning America" host wasn’t through, however. On Tuesday, she offered the query again. This time, Sawyer added a new spin, "secret genderism." The recipient of the question, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, readily agreed. America is guilty, she asserted, it just isn’t "very secret."
Speaking of The Washington Post, ever wonder how many times the paper mentioned "macaca?" According to MRC President Brent Bozell, the paper featured the phrase no less then 112 times!
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann absurdly linked domestic terrorism to "right-wing blogs."
While Olbermann slimed conservatives, CNN labeled the current low gas prices "a recovery." Why, just a few weeks ago, the falling costs represented a link between "Big Oil" and the GOP. What a difference an election makes!
The Palm Beach Post today urged a Florida election official to move more strongly on the case of columnist Ann Coulter's alleged voting fraud. And the Post editorial criticized Coulter's behavior.
"Coulter, who specializes in tirades against Democrats and others whom she considers unpatriotic, voted in the wrong Palm Beach precinct during the town's February election," the editorial stated. "As a result, Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson had a chance to show the public that even celebrities aren't above the law. Instead, he has made a halfhearted attempt to turn the matter over to the state attorney's office.
Since I'm in the habit of recycling items from the Sixers blog today, NFL junkies will enjoy the latest news from the Austin American-Statesman that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees does not want to be seen as endorsing his mom's campaign for a Texas judge spot:
Drew Brees wants no part of his mother's political aspirations.
The NFL quarterback and Westlake High School graduate has told Mina Brees, an Austin attorney, to stop using his picture in TV commercials as she runs for a spot on Texas' 3rd Court of Appeals, saying their relationship is now "nonexistent" after souring six years ago.
Linda Greenhouse is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who covers the United States Supreme Court for the New York Times. As we all know, the New York Times, along with the rest of the mainstream press, is adamant about their commitment to unbiased journalism. Reporters don't have opinions, at least not opinions that impact their journalism. It's nonsense, of course, but nonsense that's maintained by the likes of the Times.
Well, Linda Greenhouse, in a recent speech at her alma mater, Radcliffe, expressed some opinions. And if she really feels this way, there's absolutely no way that it could possibly not color her reporting. What she chooses to highlight, the way she expresses things, what she covers or doesn't cover, what she thinks is news and what isn't - that's all determined by her worldview.
Apparently responsibility isn't a subject that the Philadelphia Daily News is interested in propagating. In an irreverent piece called Freshmen alert: Beer is more complex than you think, writer Don Russell who bills himself as "Joe Sixpack", is advising students to dispense with all the worrying over all the "Alcohol is Evil' speech" stuff.
I have to question this attempt at "common man" humor when directed at people who are a tad less than the "men" (read adult) that such a pointed satire of an adult point of view might be more properly aimed. Should we really be minimalizing alcoholism and binge drinking in articles pointed at our college students who are already too prone to taking chances with their health, not to mention their schooling, already?
Most of the major American media had serious qualms about printing the Mohammed cartoons a while back. No major newspaper did as far as I can remember.
None of them seemed particularly outraged over a particularly vile cartoon by Wiley Miller, the creator of the syndicated strip Non Sequitur, which implied that Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia wants to enslave black Americans, and more specifically, his court colleague Clarence Thomas. (HT: Betsy Newmark)
If Davie Rossie's ramblings were simply those of one more angry liberal pundit, they'd hardly merit comment. What makes his utterances noteworthy is that when Rossie isn't churning out his once-a-week column, he is editing the news for the Gannett chain. Rossie is Associate Editor of Gannett's Binghamton paper, the Press & Sun Bulletin.
In today's column, 'Once There Were Giants in Television News', Rossie laments that they aren't making TV newsmen like Edward R. Murrow any more. With what might be condemned as sexism, nay, misogyny, had it been suggested by a conservative critic, Rossie grumps that "it's mostly ex-fashion models and Playboy Playmates pretending to understand the news they read to us on cable TV."
“From the beginning Spike Lee knew that Hurricane Katrina was a story he had to tell.”
That’s how The New York Times begins Agony of New Orleans, Through Spike Lee’s Eyes, on the director’s upcoming Katrina documentary. Times reporter Felicia R. Lee doesn’t tell readers of one of the reasons Lee was drawn to the story: he thinks the government may have deliberately flooded New Orleans.
That’s right. HBO wanted to make “the film of record” on America’s worst natural disaster, and entrusted the task to a man who thinks it may actually have been a government conspiracy. And it gave him $2 million to do it.
Could reporter Lee (no relation, I hope) simply have not been aware of director Lee’s conspiracy theories? They’re not hard to find. The director went on CNN and said: “I don't put anything past the United States government. I don't find it too far-fetched that they tried to displace all the black people out of New Orleans.”
The Tribune Company lost 62 percent of their earnings.
McClatchy kept earnings about the same though they lost almost 5 percent of their circulation.
Media General lost 47 percent from a year ago.
Gannett lost 8.3 percent.
Of course, none of the papers will admit that their bias and reportage are to blame for their problems. Instead it is all the fault of Internet activities, Craigslist, the uncooperative entertainment and auto industry, and a "weak operating environment." Leave it to journalists to blame even thier financial problems on the environment.
I would highly suggest any newspaper publishers wanting to save their papers take a tip from my recent Newsbusters post on the real problem.
Readers of these columns might have noticed that I occasionally include at the foot the fact that I live in 'the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY.' To give you a flavor for what I'm talking about, consider today's op-ed page in my hometown daily, the Ithaca Journal. The Journal is a Gannett newspaper. That's the chain [led by USA Today] that, as I've documented, chose as a news editor someonewho believes calling VP Cheney 'Satan' makes for the best commencement speech ever.
There have been many complaints about how our media reports the stories from Iraq. Countless articles have been written about the selective nature of reports from the field – focusing on the negative and completely ignoring the positive. Documents uncovered in Iraq have demonstrated how the insurgents use the American media for propaganda dissemination.
Now I have uncovered something even more shocking and disgusting. Our media is using pro al-Qaeda, pro Iraqi insurgency organizations as the basis for their reports – more importantly as sources of information that is damning to our soldiers.
While researching the claims of US soldiers raping a young Iraqi woman and then killing her and her family, I came across an article from Mafkarat al-Islam via Free Arab Voice. The article cites eyewitness testimony about the US rape and murder of the Iraqi family. According to Free Arab Voice, the report was filed on Saturday night at 11:55 Makkah time.
If Dave Rossie were simply a columnist, one might dismiss his sophomoric liberal rants as, well, sophomoric liberal rants. But what is disturbing is that when he's not pounding out his latest condemnation of all things Republican, the Gannett chain has seen fit to give Rossie the power to edit news at one of its papers, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. Not long ago, Rossie, finding the mere impeachment of Pres. Bush insufficient, called on the world to boycott the United States.
Rossie's latest opus concerns commencement addresses. After knocking administration officials for speaking at military institutions, and singling out VP Cheney for "defending the practice of spying on Americans via illegal wire taps," Rossie gave an example of a commencement speech of which he approved - heartily.
The Vice President of the Washington Post, Ben Bradlee, has the solution to the problem of MASSIVE declining newspaper circulation all figured out:
LEHRER: Do you think that the newspapers, faced with this decline in circulation, should reexamine what they're doing? BRADLEE: They're examining, reexamining it. Boy, that's topic A. Every, every paper you go to, they've just had a meeting and they're discussing what to do about falling circulation. And there's one word is the answer. LEHRER: What is it? BRADLEE: Stories. LEHRER: Stories? BRADLEE: Good stories. LEHRER: So, when you say stories, what stories are they not doing, kinds of stories that they're not doing? BRADLEE: Well, I mean, they're just well written stories, some story that makes you, you know, say I'll be damned, that's a good story.
Actually, the average newspaper story already makes me say "I'll be damned" but probably not for the reason Ben is talking about. Here's a suggestion for all you newspaper VP's. Why don't you get rid of the bias, the America-hating columnists, the socialist editorials, and the reporters pushing a gay/lesbian/transgendered/illegal alien/pro-abortion/anti-God/anti-gun agenda?
Ever thought of that in one of your falling circulation meetings? No. Probably not.
To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy: if you're an American who wants marriage to be reserved exclusively for one man and one woman . . . you might be a yahoo!
Don't believe me? Ask liberal Newsday columnist Ellis Henican. He appeared on Fox & Friends First this morning to debate radio talk show host Mike Gallagher on a variety of topics, including the Democrats' recently announced six-point plan to be implemented should they take back the House in the November elections.
Gallagher argued that this was something the Dems cooked up on the spur of the moment, frustrated by the good news for the Republicans generated by the killing of Zarqawi, the exculpation of Rove and other events.
Pinkerton reports on his brief foray inside the belly of the 'immigrant rights' beast. Far from being an echo of the black civil-rights movement of the '60s based on non-violence, Pinkerton says that it's a radical 'movimiento' animated by dreams of 'reconquista.'
Pinkerton explains that earlier this week he attended a panel discussion entitled "The New Immigrants Movement," part of a "Take Back America" conference convened in Washington, D.C., by the left-wing Campaign for America's Future.
The media is overflowing with stories about the incident in Haditha on November 19, 2005. There are so many stories and so many interviews but there is a problem. Many of the stories and recountings of events are inconsistent and seem ever changing.
Take the conflicting stories from Thaer al-Hadithi - the "young Iraqi journalist" and AP's "Iraqi human rights investigator". Al-Hadithi claimed that his "own house was barely 100 yards from the IED explosion." He recounted that the blast shattered his windows. Al-Hadithi claimed he "ran outside in time to see Marines from three other humvees springing from their vehicles and heading for four homes on either side of the road."
But in his interview with the AP, he claimed "he was visiting his family in Haditha". Al-Hadithi described an "eerie silence after the explosion". He told the AP that he watched from the window of his home and had a clear view of two of the houses.
Various media around the world have been using this shocking photo to smear the US Marines in connection with the Haditha incident.
As Michelle Malkin has reported, the photo has nothing to do with US Marines: "The photo is of fishermen executed in a Haditha stadium by terrorists six months before the Nov. 19 incident under investigation by the US military."
That didn't stop the Times of London from running it on June 1st, alleging it was of the alleged Marine action in Haditha. The Times later apologized.
With more people now going to the internet for news, forecasters predict tough times ahead for newspapers. Reports Reuters:
The U.S. newspaper industry is likely to face a "somber" second half of the year, with circulation and advertising revenue remaining under pressure, according to an analyst's report released on Friday.
The report casts doubt on any hopes of a major recovery for an industry that has seen share prices fall by 15 percent in the last 12 months amid declining readership and a migration of advertising dollars to the Internet.
"The environment will get harder for newspapers before it gets better," according to Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Ginocchio. "And we're not sure when it is going to get better."
Writing at Editor and Publisher, the bible of the newspaper industry, senior editor Joe Strupp blasts newspapers for not doing enough to promote gay marriage:
The gay marriage debate has wasted time, energy and
effort long enough. It barely shows up in a list of issues that concern
Americans in a Gallup Poll released in the past week. And the current proposal for a constitutional ban on gay marriage may be the height of abuse.
It is bad enough that newspapers have not taken a
harder stance in favor of gay rights in the past. But to allow this
short-sighted misuse of the Constitution to move ahead without
condemnation would be the ultimate irresponsibility.
Newspapers circulation rates took another steep decline in the six-month period ending in March according to a just released AP report (hat tip to Drudge): “The decline in average paid weekday circulation was about the same as the previous six-month reporting cycle for the period ending last September, according to the Newspaper Association of America, a trade group.”
Some of America’s most “popular” dailies were amongst the biggest losers: “Several top newspapers reported significant declines in the period, including Tribune Co.'s Los Angeles Times, down 5.4 percent at 851,832; The Washington Post, down 3.7 percent at 724,242; the New York Daily News, also down 3.7 percent at 708,477.”
The biggest percentage loser was the San Francisco Chronicle “where average paid weekday circulation fell 15.6
While the media is full of stories of Nancy Pelosi's "Miss Cleo" impression on the future of politics in America and fantasizing about Porter Goss playing poker while smoking a cigar, our brave military are still kicking butt over in Iraq (and Afghanistan). Here's one of the latest from Centcom.mil...
TERRORIST CHEMICAL EXPERT KILLED IN BAGHDAD RAID "Ansar al-Islam member and chemical expert, Ali Wali, was killed May 6th at approximately 1 p.m. during a counterterrorist raid in the Mansur district of Baghdad. Iraqi civilians transported the two bodies to the morgue where Coalition forces later confirmed the identity of the wanted terrorist, Ali Wali.
Let’s all give one collective “Awwwwww” for the newspaper industry that seems destined to go the way of the Dodo bird. As reported by The New York Times on Friday, the first quarter was another bad period for an industry which continues to see ad revenues decline as America’s readers increasingly lose interest in their content:
“The newspaper industry continues to flag financially, with three companies — The New York Times, Tribune and McClatchy — reporting sharply lower first-quarter earnings yesterday.
“Executives of all of the newspaper companies said they were hurt by stagnant advertising, particularly in the automotive and entertainment categories, and a continuing rise in the cost of newsprint. The Times Company and Tribune also cited the cost of severance packages after cutting hundreds of jobs.”
Nobody seemed immune to the contagion that continues to devastate the industry:
David S. Hirschman, online editor of Editor and Publisher, wonders what newspaper editors can do to "reclaim their power as arbiters of public taste." With the advent of blogs, no longer does a "small coterie of journalists" decide what is important. It's not likely that ten years ago Editor and Publisher would have admitted publicly the power wielded by so few editors and TV heads, but now the cat is out of the bag.
In the past, in the days of ink-stained wretches and typesetting, it was the editors and publishers who set the news agenda. A small coterie of journalists decided what was most important, what went on page one, what was to be emphasized day after day. In effect, they would separate the important from the superficial, and could to large degree push what they wanted to and create the "water cooler" issue of the day.
Of course, this is still true to some extent. The New York Times' Bill Keller, the Washington Post's Len Downie, and the Los Angeles Times' Dean Baquet still determine what tens of millions of Americans will wake up to every morning on their doorstep, or go to bed with online the night before.
David Boaz of the libertarian Cato Institute spotted an undeniable pattern of media unease in the network and newspaper coverage of the nomination of conservative Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, compared to how those same outlets treated Bill Clinton's 1993 nomination of liberal ACLU lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Cato's executive vice president asked rhetorically, in an article last Thursday for Reason Magazine:
"Remember all those news stories in 1993 about how the nomination of former ACLU lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg to replace conservative Justice Byron White on the United States Supreme Court would 'tilt the balance of the court to the left?' Of course you don't. Because there weren't any. In the past three months, the major media have repeatedly hammered away at the theme that Judge Samuel Alito Jr. would 'shift the Supreme Court to the right' if he replaced retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. According to Lexis/Nexis, major newspapers have used the phrase 'shift the court' 36 times in their Alito coverage. They have referred to the 'balance of the court' 32 times and 'the court's balance' another 15. 'Shift to the right' accounted for another 18 mentions. Major radio and television programs indexed by Lexis/Nexis have used those phrases 63 times.
Ted Rall, the cartoonist that hates President Bush and the military, decries the January 13 “massacre” in Pakistan while claiming that the United States is committing “murder by mistake”. In his Jan 17 op-ed, “Death From Above: US Drone Planes Have a Nearly Perfect Record of Failure”, Rall states that the Hellfire Missiles “slammed into three local jewelers’ houses” and killed “at least 22 innocent civilians, including five women and five children.” He neglects to mention that the #2 Al Qaeda terrorist was supposed to be dining with the “jewelers”. He also neglects to mention that stories are now coming out that 3, possibly more, Al Qaeda terrorists are believed to have been killed in the air strike, including the bomb making mastermind, Abu Khabab al-Masri.
As the economy has improved, President Bush's association with its results has decreased, and now has virtually disappeared.
Good economic news has poured out as if from a geyser during the past couple of weeks: consumer confidence, GDP growth, Christmas retail sales, unemployment, durable goods, the booming online sales, just to scratch the surface.
Not coincidentally, in my opinion, the term "Bush Economy," which had been fairly prevalent in 2002 and 2003, has gone AWOL, especially in the three weeks since the President's December 5 North Carolina speech praising the economy's performance.
A Google News search on "Bush Economy" (in quotes) for the past 30 days done just before midnight Eastern Time on December 27 yielded a grand total of thirty results.
Click on the link to see the latest results. When I did the search, only five of them were dated after December 8, and one of them (from CNN) referred to a "Reggie Bush Economy" (after college football's Heisman Trophy winner). None of the remaining four results were from a major media outlet.