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.
What follows is the lede from a Baltimore Sun article today (Sunday) about Army recruitment as reprinted in The Day in New London, Connecticut. It demonstrates, again, the truth of Mark Twain’s dictum, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
Washington — The Army met its recruiting goal for November by again accepting a high percentage of recruits who scored in the lowest category on the military's aptitude tests, Pentagon officials said Thursday, raising renewed concerns that the quality of the all-volunteer force will suffer.
The Army exceeded its 5,600 recruit goal by 256 for November, while the Army Reserve brought in 1,454 recruits, exceeding its target by 112. To do so, they accepted a “double digit” percentage of recruits who scored between 16 and 30 out of a possible 99 on the military's aptitude test, said officials who requested anonymity.
The article does note, later on, “Still, Army officials continue to say that at the end of the recruiting year, next Sept. 30, the total percentage of Category IV soldiers will be no more than 4 percent.”
Anti-American left wing lunatic Ted Rall was not content with depicting the US military as rapists, pedophiles and idiots. In his latest piece of artwork, Rall portrays Iraq War Veterans as torturers and domestic abusers. The cartoon, Sex Lives of Iraq War Vets, published on November 26, 2005, shows the veterans torturing their girlfriends and the girlfriend's parents Abu-Ghraib style. The final frame shows a vet dropping bombs on his girlfriend's home in response to a break-up.
This latest attempt to undermine our military comes on the heels of Rall's cartoon depicting US soliders in Iraq as rapists and pedophiles.Ted Rall's drawings and his hate Bush rants are distributed by Universal Press Syndicates. Rall's work is distributed to over 140 media outlets including the New York Times, the LA Times and the San Jose Mercury News. Yahoo.com also publishes Rall's editorials as part of its opinion section. There is no mention of Al-Jazeerah being a subscriber to Rall's far left editorials.
As reported by Editor and Publisher (with a hat tip to Free Republic), the daily circulation rate of America’s newspapers continued to fall the past six months:
“The Newspaper Association of America said on Monday that overall daily circulation for the six-month period ending September 2005 for 789 newspapers fell 2.6% to 45,153,192 copies. For the 627 papers analyzed, Sunday dropped 3.1% to 49,394,406.”
In his column for the Chicago Sun-Times, Mark Steyn notes that reporters seemed a bit allergic to mentioning that "militants" in Russia (after the latest violence in Nalchik) and elsewhere could be described more clearly as "Islamic militants," but that wasn't something they wanted to underline:
Ah, "Islamic militants." So that's what the rebels were insurging over. In the geopolitical Hogwart's, Islamic "militants" are the new Voldemort, the enemy whose name it's best never to utter. In fairness to the New York Times, they did use the I-word in paragraph seven. And Agence France Presse got around to mentioning Islam in paragraph 22. And NPR's "All Things Considered" had one of those bland interviews between one of its unperturbable anchorettes and some Russian geopolitical academic type in which they chitchatted through every conceivable aspect of the situation and finally got around to kinda sorta revealing the identity of the perpetrators in the very last word of the geopolitical expert's very last sentence.
Unfortunately, journalists haven’t accurately reported the data involved.
Catastrophic events in America’s cities have a tendency to generate discussions about race, class, and poverty. The Watts riots in 1965, as well as the Rodney King riots in 1992 are fine examples. Hurricane Katrina has sparked another such debate. Unfortunately, America’s media are relying on consistently questionable or out-of-date statistics to not only exaggerate the problem, but to blame President Bush.
No, this is not about the Rev. Louis Farrakhan and his march in D.C. Instead, it’s about an article today (15 October) in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer entitled, “ 'Slave syndrome' may still affect black behavior.” The thesis of the professor appears in the early paragraphs:
“The troubling images of African Americans displaced by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans' impoverished neighborhoods didn't startle researcher Joy DeGruy-Leary. ‘All Katrina did was reveal what was already there. I wasn't confused, wasn't surprised,’ she said....
“DeGruy-Leary, an assistant professor in Portland State University's Graduate School of Social Work, will discuss her theory of the relationship between race, culture, poverty and history today at the third Seattle Race Conference and tonight in a separate talk. Her theory of "post-traumatic slave syndrome" concludes that African Americans needed to adapt to survive more than two centuries of slavery, and that those adaptations are reflected in their behaviors today.”
ABC, Times use new study on Arctic’s seasonal ice shifts to sound global-warming alarm.
The global warming alarmists are out again. The polar ice caps aren’t leaving us forever, but ABC and The New York Times seized a new study this week about seasonal change to proclaim the end of the North Pole and the polar bears’ habitat.
ABC’s Bill Blakemore reported for three straight days on a NASA study of Arctic ice patterns that found less ice at the end of the 2005 summer than in years past. On the September 29 “World News Tonight,” Blakemore spoke of creatures living in the icy water – creatures anchor Bob Woodruff described as “in enormous peril.” Woodruff introduced the segment as part of ABC’s reporting on “the serious concern among scientists that the polar ice caps have been melting,” and Blakemore said of the Arctic sea ice: “before the end of the century, it could all be gone.”
But the truth is, scientists on both sides of the global warming debate agree that the ice cap isn’t in “peril.” As Myron Ebell, director of global warming and international environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute said, the Arctic is experiencing “natural cycles of warming and cooling.” Yet, on the September 27 “World News Tonight,” ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas introduced him with “a staggering headline tonight about the planet getting warmer.” “Researchers say the summertime ice cap, which covers the North Pole, could be gone in 100 years,” Vargas said. Blakemore then declared that “the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean is melting away,” warning that “villages are tumbling into the sea.”
“Good Morning America” continued the hype on September 28. Diane Sawyer said NASA’s study provided “startling and alarming images” – “brand-new satellite photos showing the ice pack around the North Pole melting and shrinking. Stark proof that the world is getting warmer.” Blakemore appeared again, lamenting: “These vast fields of ice of the frozen Arctic Ocean are so immense, so beautiful, with such a huge silence, it’s hard to imagine them ever disappearing. And yet, that is exactly what some scientific scenarios say could well happen before the end of the century.”
Blakemore did admit that he was talking about “summer sea ice,” but that was halfway through his report, and the overall tone was alarmist. He ended by linking hurricanes, summer heat waves and global warming. Sawyer asked him, “Is this the final proof about global warming?” Blakemore replied, “It’s the latest, it’s the latest very strong proof. The scientists are quite worried about it.”
Not all scientists are as worried as Blakemore was. In fact, scientists on different sides of the global warming debate even agreed that reporting on the study has been overblown. The missing point, they said, is that NASA’s study, in conjunction with the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), provides information about the seasonal melting that occurs in summertime – which doesn’t mean the ice caps will be gone during the rest of the year.
“The Arctic Ocean was ice-free at the end of the summer for 40 percent of the last 7,000 years. What’s the big deal?” said Pat Michaels, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia.
Michaels said he didn’t see how “the conditions that dominated three millennia can be construed as some type of disaster.” “If the issue is that human beings are capable of changing the climate – they’ve been doing that for thousands of years,” he said. “So what’s new?”
Mark Serreze, a senior research scientist with the NSIDC at the University of Colorado-Boulder, said he and Michaels would disagree on many points on climate change, but they agree that the media have been missing the point of the Arctic story.
“The media are trying to simplify this or don’t understand what we’re talking about,” said Serreze, who was quoted in The New York Times’ September 29 article about the study. He said the media, in his experience, are “not necessarily trying to find your story – they’re trying to get their story.”
The Times story, by Andrew C. Revkin, skipped straight to global warming in the second paragraph, stating that the shift in summer ice “is hard to explain without attributing it in part to human-caused global warming, the team’s members and other experts on the region said.”
Revkin wrote, “One of the most important consequences of Arctic warming will be increased flows of meltwater and icebergs from glaciers and ice sheets, and thus an accelerated rise in sea levels, threatening coastal areas. The loss of sea ice could also hurt both polar bears and Eskimo seal hunters.”
But Serreze told the Free Market Project that there is an important distinction the media often don’t clarify – the difference between ice in the ocean and ice on the land. Melting sea ice “has essentially zero effect on sea level,” he said, another point on which he and Michaels agreed. Both scientists gave the example of a glass of ice water: if ice cubes in the glass melt, the water level in the glass remains the same.
It’s ice melting from land into the sea that causes ocean levels to rise – but even so, Serreze said that “right now, the sea level rise that we observe is quite modest.” He said the rate could increase in the future, though that is debatable depending on forecasts.
In the meantime, the media continue to trot out natives of the Arctic region, whether human or animal, in support of a global warming disaster theme.